Fashion Week– A Backstage Tour

Fashion WeekI 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.

Fashion Week -- HairWhen 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.

Fashion week-- make-upOn 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).

Fashion week-- gownsWith 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.


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