The top stylists at Prive Salon reveal what really goes on backstage before a fashion show!
- PJ Gach, BettyConfidential.com
When you're looking at fashion show photos, or if you watch a fashion show on livestream or TV, you'll probably notice that the hair is flawless. It doesn't matter if there are 15 or 45 models; they each have the same stunning hairstyle.
How does everything get done? How much time does a hairstylist have to create the looks? Is there an assembly line? Are hairstylists leaping over tables and chairs to create the looks? How much input does the designer have? We've always wanted to know what craziness happens backstage and with the help of Laurent Dufourg, the owner of Prive Salon (there's one in New York, LA and Miami) and his top stylists Jorge Luis and Aaron Grenier of New York City's Prive,Chase Kusero of LA's Prive and Frank Izquierdo from Miami's Prive, we got all the deets!
BettyConfidential: How many people are on a team during fashion week? How do pick your teammates? What do you look for?
Laurent Dufourg: I usually have 10 people in my team. I bring in my top stylists from the LA and Miami salons to work with my New York team. They are used to working on fashion shows and photo shoots.
BC: How long before fashion week do you meet with the designer to discuss hairstyles?
Jorge Luis: It's a process. We usually meet with the designer first-they already have a vision on how the hair should look. Then we are invited to see the collection, and we take it from there.
BC: Does the designer come to the salon to see the hairstyle options? Or does he or she have you and the hair models come to their office? How do they see it? How many options do you give them?
JL: Most of the time we do it (the hair) at our Prive Salon [in New York], but sometimes we go to them to show them styles and options. It's really up to the designer where we should meet. The designer will have a model that we will do a "hair trial" on. Once we arrive at the right look, we photograph it from every angle, so it will be mistake free on the big day.
BC: Has a designer ever changed their mind at the last minute and asked for a different hairstyle? If so, what did you do?
LD: It doesn't happen a lot, but sometimes they cast a new girl at the last minute with a different style of hair. So we need to improvise and listen to what the designer wants.
BC: How much time do you have to complete a hairstyle? And how many heads will one person work on?
LD: We always have two hours to work on our models before a show. Each stylist will work on two models.
BC: What happens if they don't like the hairstyles?
Chase Kusero: Our team is jam packed with talented artists that work day and night on their eye and craft to ensure the hair is always perfect.
BC: Fashion Week is really grueling. Do you do anything at all beforehand to get ready for it? Do you go to the gym to increase your endurance? Do you start eating better? Do you practice doing hair quickly?
JL: Well PJ, You know me, I enjoy the gym all year round! I practice a early morning discipline which includes meditation, workouts etc., in my line of work, specially as Fashion Week approaches, going to the gym and working out gives me a clear head.
BC: How do you remember what hairstyle goes with what fashion show?
Frank Izquierdo: I Keep a notebook with me whenever possible, where I write down every look for each fashion show on my schedule and I have inspirations pictures in there too. It helps me stay confident and they're also good reminders.
BC: How many people make up a team?
Aaron Grenia: It always depends upon how many models are in a show and the level of difficulty with the look. I believe we have a core of five strong hairdressers, and then assistants will also help in creating the looks.
BC: How do you interact with the makeup team to create the total look?
AG: It is very important to get on a great communication level with the makeup team to make sure the over all machine works perfect. So that everyone looks great.
BC: How many shows will you do in one day during Fashion Week?
JL: It depends, as we can do one, two, or three shows a day; but no more than three.
BC: What was the craziest thing that ever happened backstage?
LD: The look for a show was for very straight hair and four models came from another show 10 minutes before the opening of that show with their hair set in a big afros! It was crazy, we had just three stylists per model, but we did it.
BC: What's it like to see your hairstyle walking down the runway?
FI: The feeling is indescribable. You have worked on the looks and the preparation before the show for around 3 hours... and finally, the models head to wardrobe and they begin the line up as we run around doing last minute touch ups as they get dressed. There is an energy backstage that is indescribable the whole time, but especially right when it ends and when I can see my hairstyle walking down the runway, suddenly I see my work from a different vision and I love it!
This is like doing a puzzle: You have to sort all the pieces, it takes a long time and you can't wait to see the final result! When it's done, you feel happy and proud and want one thing: To do it all over, again and again.
BC: If there was one thing you could change about creating hairstyles for fashion week, what would it be?
AG: Models with perfect hair and them showing up on time would change things dramatically.
BC: What's the one thing you'd want an audience member of a fashion show that you'd want them to know about doing hair during fashion week?
CK: That the hair is custom tailored to work perfectly with the designer's inspiration and it changes from season to season..
BC:What are your favorite tools and products to use backstage?
CK: A Mason Pearson brush, blow dryer, Prive Salon styling products-we always use our texture spray, Prive Foaming Styler, Prive dry shampoo and Prive Flash Brilliance.
PJ Gach is Senior Editor: Style + Beauty at BettyConfidential.
Photos courtesy of Prive Salon
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