I love the intensity and glamour of runway fashion shows, but my favorite part is the drama and style behind the scenes. This year I was invited to cover the hair and make-up prep of the Venaxiana Show during Fashion Week.
For the 9 pm show at Lincoln Center, the call time was 6pm– and every minute of the three hour prep was needed. The area behind the actual runway was divided into two main spaces– one for the designs to be shown on the runway and the other for hair and make-up.
When I walked in, the models were already perched on stools absorbed in their cell phones. The stylists had spent hours practicing the asymmetrical updo by Philip Pelusi of Tela. Their fingers flew as they texturized the hair with a crimping iron for the soft chignon that was designed to be both sophisticated yet approachable.
On the other side of the room, the make-up artists followed the look created by Dani Fonseca, key artist for the Alcone company who sponsored the make-up. To compliment the hair and gowns, she created a look she described as ” part Midsummer’s Night Dream, part rock and roll. Looking at the pale glittery foundation, eyes enhanced by a deep blue liner on lower lids and a few individual false lashes, I knew she had totally nailed it.
At each makeup station there was a sketch of the finished look and a truely impressive arsenal of brushes. I picked up a few make-up tips on applying foundation ( use a brush) and eye lash appliction ( less is more).
With hair and make-up almost finished , I decided to check out the dressing area. The gowns were hung on rolling racks and each had a bag of shoes and tips for the best fit. Each model had a designated dresser to make the quick changes needed for the fashion packed show. Nothing was left remotely to chance. The prop table was equipped with everything to fix anything that could go wrong in a dress. Small boxes were individually filled with items like safety pins, double sided tape, vaseline, lint roller, needle and thread and extra pantie hose.
Under the lights and music, the show seemed to flow effortlessly. The tired but very happy backstage team watched the product of their labors with well deserved pride. Everyone I had talked to was passionate about their work and it showed in the final product– a blend of skill, creativity and precision.
One final tip: Phillip Pelusi who created the runway hair style sent me detailed instructions to replicate the totally flattering updo. I will post it in time for holiday parties.