Behind the scenes of Fashion Week

For New York Fashion Week has just been and gone. I don’t know about you but I just love the buzz and excitement it creates and viewing the collections. Not a lot of people get to experience the craziness and excitement of Fashion week so I wanted to share my experiences with you and take you back stage with me.  I have been lucky enough to be a part of 4 Fashion weeks in Sydney and Melbourne, hopefully one day New York.

Jen and I have worked on three shows together; in Sydney Oroton and Lisa Marie Fernandez and Spring Fashion Week in Melbourne.  Some of my brides will recognise Jen as we often work together on my Sydney wedding makeup mobile service.





So normally the day starts as early as 4 or 5am depending on the time of the first show. I personally prefer to do the first show of the day rather than the last. At the end of the day some models are running late from the last show and we often have to spend a lot of time removing their dramatic makeup before we can start a fresh. When we arrive we run to secure the best seats before the chaos begins. We then watch a demonstration of the show’s look by the lead artist to see what we will be creating and what products we will be using. Pictured below left is Simone Forte demonstrating the Smokey Look for Lisa Fernandez’s show sponsored by Nude by Nature and below right is Linda Jefferyes demonstrating the fresh, dewy, contoured look for the Oroton Show sponsored by Mecca Cosmetica.





We then go back to our stations to set up our products neatly and our reference face charts. Pictured below are the products used for the Oroton Show and the face chart demonstrating the dewy, contoured fresh spring look. It is important we follow the face chart and demonstration exactly as all the models must look as uniformed as possible.



The organised, neat stations don’t last long, the wait is over and the fabulous chaos begins. We have to grab our models and get them made up in no time. We often have only 2 hours to get 20 models ready. So it’s survival of the fittest. The makeup has to be perfect as it will be photographed and published everywhere but it also has to be done in about 20 minutes as the show must go on! As you can see in the image below the marquee becomes packed out with models, hair stylists, makeup artists, photographers, the designers, stylists and dressers. Ten points to whom ever can spot me in amongst the crowd.



Below is model Philippa that I had finished making up that is pictured in the hair chair being styled and braided by Renya Zydis and her creative team. If a model is running late from a previous show and we are running out of time it is all hands on deck. Once I remember there were four of us working on a model who was holding back tears as we were all working as quickly as possible to get her up to the runway on time. It can be difficult not to hurt them when we are trying to put eyeliner on and a hairdresser is frantically teasing their hair, sometimes the job of a model isn’t nearly as glamorous as it seems.



Here is Amanda from Next Top Model another model that I had the privilege of making up that day.


Before we have had a chance to pause, the models are ready and they head back stage to be dressed. Every outfit and model has been pre styled so on the day everything is already organised and ready to go as quickly as possible. Behind stage is where things can get very crazy as often the models and dressers have barely any time to conduct the outfit changes.



Then the music starts and the models walk. We take it in turns to stay back stage for touch ups or go and watch the show from a monitor.





What I love most about fashion week is we get the chance to do some fun looks that we don’t often get to do. Below is a edgy, metalic smokey look showcased at the Melbourne 2013 Designer Series. Kenneth designed this look. The key products used were Kevyn Aucoin Black Eye Pencil and Stila Eye Foils in Vintage Black Gold to create the edgy, metalic eye. The skin was kept matte to contrast with the textured, shiny eye look. These are a couple of the models that I made up for the show.




Here is a softer, pretty look that was again designed by Kenneth for a different show in Melbourne Spring Fashion Designer Series. The key product used here was Nars Jolie Poupee shadow to create the purple smokey look. The model below was made up by me.



So I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek into fashion week. It really is fun being a fashion makeup artist, I absolutely love my job.

To see more of my fashion and print work please feel free to look through my website: 

Please like my Facebook page to stay up to date on special offers and tips & tricks:

 M: 0410 935 272
Gemma Nichols Makeup Artistry is a mobile makeup and hair styling service in Sydney that will pamper you & your group to perfection for all occasions. Gemma also specialises in commercial & corporate print & film.