Jane Fonda wowed the crowd on the 2013 Oscar red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 24.
Wearing a retina-searing, neon-yellow Versace gown, a tousled short 'do with bold highlights and sexy smoky eyes, Fonda, 75, looked more glamorous than nominees less than half her age.
"How does she do it?" women everywhere muttered to themselves. The Hollywood Reporter has the answers.
While Fonda is very much in charge of the fitness and yoga regimen that keeps her trim figure, she has an elite Glam Team – stylist Tanya Gill, hairdresser Mathew Shields, colorist Negin Zand and makeup artist Elan Bongiorno -- who keep her looking fabulous year after year.
Shields has been doing Fonda's piecey short shag for over 10 years. He also does her hair for her role on HBO's political series Newsroom and travels with the actress/author on her book and workout-video tours.
"Jane has pretty much had the same signature style – a flippy shag – since the 2000 Oscars," says Shields, who works out of Sally Hershberger’s West Hollywood salon. "We’ve been playing around and tweaking the style for the past two years. This new version is straighter and smoother around her neck and chin. But it still has that messy bedroom, just been you-know-what look that she loves. I used a razor to create more texture in the hair so the style has some depth."
As for products, he relies Sally Hershberger's Style Primer. "It’s a very gutsy product, so I add some Shu Uemura Satin Design White Tea Polishing Milk. I use either Phytovolume Actif Volumizing Spray or Sally’s Salon Shape Up at the roots, then finish off with a spray of Sally's Salon Texture Blast.”
Zand, who now works out of Salon Benjamin on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood, has done Fonda's hair color for over a decade, too. Of her new base and highlights, the Balyage expert says, ”I did brighter pieces that really pop on top and did a L’Oreal Dia Light clear gloss for shine. As women get older, our hair loses that youthful shine.”
British stylist Tanya Gill, who stars on TLC's bridal-makeover show Something Old, Something New has worked with Fonda for several years. But she likes to work ahead and has never dealt with such last-minute fashion details until this year’s Oscars.
"Donatella Versace did the design, and we approved the sketch," Gill explains. “We asked for this yellow color, and they found the fabric in Italy and sent the gowns with three different waistbands. It took a week. They were flown over and arrived on Friday afternoon, just two days before the Oscars. That was our first fitting."
But working with a brand like Versace with so much experience with couture, Gill was confident everything would work out. "Versace sent a team of tailors, so you aren’t looking for a tailor at the last minute in L.A. on Oscar weekend."
The reasons that Versace dress made Fonda look so striking come down to the bold color -- unusual for a woman of her years -- and classic geometry.
"Everything was thought out," says Gill, who stars on Closet Genius on MSN Living as well as being co- creator/ exec.producer . She's also co- creator and co-producer of TLC's hit show Something Borrowed Something New. "The wide waistband pointing inward in a V gives the illusion of a narrower waist. We also thought about how tight or loose the sleeves needed to be because she was going to be holding an Oscar."
"The slightly wider shoulder and V-shaped waist [a detail she spotted on one dress in the house’s couture collection in January] helped create the classic proportions that are so pleasing to the eye. The sleeves rest on the arm, they are not tight. The back of the dress also skims under the bottom and then flares out slightly."
The magic of makeup was provided by Fonda’s makeup artist Elan Bongiorno, who began working with the actress after they did a L’Oreal ad together eight years ago.
"Jane is not the kind of woman who gets stuck in time warp and doesn’t change up her look," Bongiorno says. "Six months ago, she told me, ‘Elan, I want a smoky eye!’ She’s 75 and she’s telling me she wants a dark, smoky eye!"
On Oscar day, the actress wasn’t sure that Bongiorno’s smoky eyes were quite smoky enough. "She said, 'Where’s your smoky shadow palette?' I told her, 'I am doing a smoky eye, but because you’re wearing the yellow Versace, I want to use warmer colors, more bronze and browns.' Later she told me that she has never gotten more compliments than that night, which makes me feel so good."
To get the look, Bongiorno first defined Fonda's eyes with black liner and applied short and medium-length black Ardel individual lashes. She used a nude warm lip pencil and applied a peachy gloss over it. Finally, she gave Fonda a luminescent sheen.
"Most actresses are used to wearing matte makeup for TV, but for the carpet, you need highlights on the flat planes of your cheekbones and on your brow-bone. You need some youthful shine! I used a bronze cheek blush and a peachy blush with a bronze cheek stick for highlights."
The best thing about working with Jane Fonda?
"It’s all about changing and evolving. She embraces the new, and I love that about her," says Bongiorno.
"Jane is not afraid of being bold and true to her personality," adds Gill. "That's inspiring to all women of any age."