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Category Archives: Events
- Pack as many makeup wipes as you think you’ll need… then triple that. Cotton swabs, too.
- Comfortable. Shoes. I will only say this once.
- Release the model from your chair for a “quick fitting” at your peril. Get a real ETA and then memorize her face so you can find her again. (Get her name, too, but sometimes it will be difficult to pronounce or easily remember so don’t rely on that.) I’m the first to admit that I find models with identical hair and makeup very difficult to tell apart.
- Be sure that the beautiful person who plops down in your chair is actually a model who is actually walking in your show. (At some shows, this will be confirmed for you, but not always.) On my third day of shows, I drew very specific eyes on someone who turned out to be a promotional model. (Fortunately it wasn’t a problem, but if I’d known, I could have saved myself some time!)
- People who have no compelling reason to even be backstage WILL ask you for a makeover or “just a quick touch-up” if they see an empty chair. Make sure you know the difference between the designer making this request (good!) and the friend of a friend of a PR person (less good).
- Related to above: when in doubt, clear it with the key. They’re usually happy to be the bad guy, they’ll actually recognize the VIPs, and it saves you awkward questioning.
- Related to above: there are no stupid questions except the ones you don’t ask but assume you know the answer to.
- Photographers and camera crews can and will go wherever they want, knock shit off your table, and rest their equipment on your shoulders while you work so they can shoot directly up the model’s nose. It’s all part of the fun, but if you’re tight for time, politely insist upon the space you need to get the job done.
- “Don’t masturbate over the makeup.” – Viktorija Bowers, on speeding things up. Backstage makeup is no time for a spa day for models; knock out the big parts of the look and fix what needs fixing, but in a crunch, don’t let perfectionism slow you down.
- The key designed the look and knows what the designer wants to see. Don’t take feedback, edits, or changing your work personally. You’ve already proven yourself by being selected; the rest is details that the key will know much more intimately than you will. (Of course you need to pay attention to the details, but don’t flog yourself over mistakes or requested changes.)
- Don’t apologize when you make the model look away from her smartphone. You need her eyes and chin UP for a goodly portion of the makeup, and she knows that. Don’t let a 17-year-old walk all over you!
- That said, be nice, and be as gentle as you can. Most models are friendly and so poised and professional that you’ll forget they are teenagers/young adults who are routinely poked, prodded, dragged around like props, and have precious little claim to personal space (or modesty). Be respectful.
- Prominently display the sponsor’s products and use them as much as possible – this stuff DOES get photographed. (Keep the “contraband” products off to the side or in unlabeled containers if possible.)
- Many models will be coming directly from another show and will be covered in makeup. See above, re: wipes. But if you’re pressed for time and can work over some of the existing makeup without compromising the end result, go for it.
- Eat, drink water, sit down, and visit the restroom every chance you get (because you won’t get many!)
I was honored, privileged, and ecstatic to work with several amazing teams backstage at a variety of NYFW shows at Lincoln Center and all over the city. It was a challenging and inspiring experience that I’m happy to cross off of my bucket list (and would gladly do again!) Here is a selection of images of the models I worked on (there are more, but it’s difficult to remember who was who after the fact):
(See previous post for the official MBFW video of the presentation highlights.)
(The THEIA show was incredible – watch the video here!)
And a few behind-the-scenes snaps…
Total credit to key artists James Vincent, Orlando Santiago, Shameika Bowman, and Viktorija Bowers – it was such a pleasure being an extension of your arms and executing the beautiful looks that you created for the designers. I look forward to working with you again!
I was so honored to have the opportunity to assist celebrity artist James Vincent for two shows at New York Fashion Week Fall 2012. The following video is from The GreenShows, a presentation showcase of 8 eco-conscious designers. I worked alongside Angela Kaeser, Bethany Townes, and students from AOFM London – a truly international and outrageously talented team! I turned out looks for Bamboo by United Bamboo, which are shown at 1:26-1:44; I also did lip touch-ups backstage right before curtain.
Enjoy the show – I know I did!
I’ll admit, I was worried that I’d be overwhelmed and exhausted yesterday. I was up (at 6am) to get ready for a 5-person wedding, and then to the city to assist backstage at a Boston Fashion Week event (which wrapped up around midnight!) But when you’re enjoying yourself so much, and working with great people, you tend to forget how long you’ve been on your feet. It was a fabulous day, and the sheer fun of it energized me (and made me forget I’d stashed bottles of 5-Hour Energy in my bag).
The wedding went smoothly, with subtle smoky eyes for the bridesmaids and beautiful 40′s-inspired makeup for the bride (hopefully I’ll have photos to show soon!) Then I picked up friend and fellow artist Karrie Welch to get to Boston, and we managed to arrive quite early to set up.
Our charge: assist the two key artists, Julie and Christy, backstage for the presentation portion of The Emerging Trends – specifically, Karrie and I were responsible for all of the skin prep and airbrush foundation work.
The event was held at the gorgeous Park Plaza Castle, and the backstage area was huge and packed with busy stylists and models in various stages of preparation. We were representing David Paul Salons from Sudbury, MA (near my hometown!), a really talented and enthusiastic group of artists who produced some amazing sculptural work (one of the four presentations in particular was time and talent-intensive):
The looks were very diverse: the first, a delicate, natural look with a bright jeweltone lip to complement the work of jewelry designer Barbara Garwood and clothing by Vennie Caprice:
The second was a vibrant gold and fuchsia eye paired with a nude lip and the dramatic hair shown in progress above (the makeup here is still unfinished, but check out that cotton-candy hair!)
The third, dark smoky eyes at a modern angle with nude lips. And the fourth was intentionally paled-out skin with dramatic winged eyeliner and bright red lips.
There were ten models, and many of them appeared in two of the four presentations, which took place in between runway shows. There was ample time to prep everyone for their first presentations, but there was much less time to change up the hair and makeup for their second stage appearances. By far the most challenging portion of the evening was transitioning two of the models from look #2 to look #4. First, all of the pink and gold makeup had to be removed – so far so good. Then the faces had to be airbrushed to be unnaturally pale. Then, the eyeliner had to be drawn on along with the red lips.
The catch? All of this had to happen while the models’ dramatic, backcombed hair from look #2 was being brushed out, smoothed and arranged into buns on top of their heads!
Since the key artists were busy prepping models for look #3, Karrie and I had to execute the remaining two models for look #4. It was really challenging because the models were getting their hair pulled (sometimes painfully – no one said being a model was easy) and couldn’t hold their heads still – normally a requirement to do eye and lip liner! (Imagine trying to line your eyes while sitting in the back of a Jeep bouncing along on a rocky country road.) I steadied my hand (and her head) as best as I could and angled the liner so it wouldn’t poke her in the eye. I’m sure our resulting looks could have been more symmetrical and fully developed, but they passed muster with the lead artists just in time for the models’ return to stage. Here’s the model I made up:
At the end of the night, everyone was invited onto the stage for a round of applause, so I actually got to step out onto a runway. Definitely something I never envisioned happening when I was a shy tomboy back in high school. (Props to the models for managing to walk smoothly on stage; when I was facing front I couldn’t see a thing because of all the lights! At least I didn’t blunder off the edge or something.)
All in all, it was a fantastic day, and I owe it to Christy Lavallee (for bringing me on board) and Karrie (for being a fantastic fellow assistant) – we managed to get everything done and turned out some great faces in the process. Not bad for three gals who are new to runway! Here we are, left to right: yours truly, Karrie, and Christy:
I also shot a little video of our prep area during a bit of downtime between models (believe me, before I so much as touched my camera I checked around to see if there was anything useful I could do!) – check it out here.
Hard work, but so. much. fun!
Look where I’m off to tomorrow:
Shopping, seminars, workshops, networking… should be a blast! I’ll try to write up a report afterward. So excited!!!
Saturday’s group shoot at FNS Studios was amazing – so much talent and plenty of opportunities to try new things! I got to work with Karrie Welch and David Schumann, so there was an awful lot of talent packed into the beauty/prep area, which was also delightfully strewn with clothes and shoes and cupcakes. (Yes, there were cupcakes. Fashion, beautiful models, and cupcakes. I know, I kind of envy myself sometimes!)
Here’s an in-progress smoky eye on model Emily Therese, one of several looks she wore throughout the day:
(Once in a rare while a small percentage of yours truly ends up in a picture – I’m just glad I’d thought to do my nails! That’s OPI Hey! Get in Lime. Yes, I’m 32 and wear bizarre nail polish colors. At least on the weekend.)
I really can’t justify the trip, especially considering that I’ll be driving to north-of-Albany the NEXT DAY for a long-anticipated photoshoot with two models I’ve worked with before (and a photographer I haven’t). But it’s so tempting… I loved the last seminar I attended. That one was three full days, but still… they pack a lotta learnin’ into a remarkably short period of time.
I suppose I should hold off on such professional development seminars until the Makeup Show in May, when I’ll have more than one reason to be in the city. But… SO TEMPTING.
(You thought I was kidding when I said I was a geek, didn’t you?)