A model prepping for Vera Wang's fall 2011 show during New York Fashion WeekBy Paula Derrow, SELF magazine
Today, I did something incredibly glam--I attended my first-ever fashion show at New York City's Lincoln Center, courtesy of SELF's beauty director, Elaine D'Farley, who let me tag along to see Vera Wang's fall line!
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I've worked in women's magazines for years, but I felt like a wide-eyed kid when Elaine took me backstage to see the models getting their makeup and hair done, the stylists rushing around steaming wrinkles out of skirts, and everyone chugging Starbucks and texting madly. We talked to the head makeup artist for Vera Wang, Lucia, who was going for a very dramatic look: pale skin, sans blush; no mascara; nearly nude lips then a very smoky eye in shades of gray and slate blue. On the willowy 16 year old models, it worked well (though not sure I'd love the no-mascara look for myself--my lashes need a little extra help!)
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The hair was equally dramatic--lots of volume on top (teased), then some fringe hanging down the back--not exactly low maintenance, but then again, nothing about a fashion show is low maintenance. Several people worked on each of these models at once, poking, prodding, highlighting, brushing, adjusting, while the girls themselves seemed blasé about it all. But the people behind the scenes were anything but blasé--"it's all about the details," as Elaine told me.
To that end, every outfit gets its own number and its own sheet of paper tacked up onto the wall; each dresser is responsible for a model and making sure she is wearing the right outfit at the right time. In the midst of it all, Vera Wang herself wandered around, somehow in charge of it all, looking as willowy as the models wandering down her runway.
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But my favorite part was the show itself: The. Best. People. Watching. Ever. In the front row, there were the fashion editors (Vogue, Elle, Allure--all were represented) and various celebs, everyone studying programs (or their phones). In one corner, the photographers scrunched together, hoping for a spectacular runway spill to make for a good photo. Then the music started and the impossibly tall, Amazonian models came stalking out in their equally impossibly high shoes, skin bare beneath the thin chiffons of the Vera Wang dresses, somehow graceful and yet slouchy at the same time. In 10 minutes, after all the frenzy and prep and makeup and hair and everything else that goes into a runway show, it was over. Vera Wang peeked out, gave a shy wave, and all the fashion editors herded out for the next show, most clutching fabulous bags and wearing unbelievably high shoes themselves. I didn't exactly fit in, but for a few minutes, I felt part of it all.
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Photo Credit: WWD