By Jennifer Wright
It is Fashion Week and I am ready! I am excited – the shows, the parties, the fashionably clad people running madly across town. So, for my first event for the week, I was delighted when Ask Melissa founder Melissa Meyers asked me to join her backstage at the Rag and Bone show. As I would have expected, Melissa saluted the designer’s taste, looking fashionista fantastic in a bright green slouchy Rag and Bone dress.
Backstage is a wonderful education on how tall, young and thin women can be transformed into runway models. No sooner did we arrive than we met the dashing Frenchman Teddy Charles, the lead stylist representing Frederic Fekkai. (“I am working for Frederic for the next three hours,” Teddy remarked.) In addition to the Rag and Bone show, you can see his work featured on the Yigal Azrouel runway. Collaborating with the designer, he had a very specific vision for the models’ hair in this show. Teddy wanted every model to look “like she quickly threw up her hair . . . but still the look should be beautiful and elegant, with personality and style.”
Stylist to the stars Marshall Lin of Frederic Fekkai, seconded the notion of elegant hair, stating that this season, “bangs are in, as is long, elegant hair, with strong lines and without too many choppy layers.” Marshall is well qualified to make such a trend-setting statement as he has five years of experience at Frederic Fekkai. (Look for him at the SoHo salon.) Marshall has also styled for the Proenza Schouler and Rachel Roy shows.
The models not only had great hair for the show, they also had terrific make-up. I learned how many issues arise when hair, makeup and beautiful clothing must seamlessly combine. Yes – there were signs reminding the models to put on turtlenecks before their make-up was applied! Fortunately, Revlon’s artistic director, Gucci Westman, had the situation under control. Gucci began by affixing a white paper mask with eye and lip cutouts to each model’s face. She then applied lipstick followed by eye shadow, before removing the mask. Many of us wondered precisely what function the paper masks served; Gucci explained that “when they’re removed, they provide the dewy glow that we’re trying to create.” Ms. Westman would know – she’s applying her considerable talent for the Jason Wu and Max Azaria shows as well. You might also want to check out her upcoming, specially formulated lipstick called Mori Red.
Being backstage allows you to browse through the designer’s upcoming collection as though you were at Barney’s. If you’re anything like me, you’ll love Rag and Bone’s new pieces. The colors are the same slate grays and blacks that Rag and Bone specializes in, but the styles all have a certain 1960’s flair to them. There’s a black, one shouldered cocktail dress that is absolutely to die for.
A glimpse at the people doing the work behind the scenes at the shows helps us understand the enormous effort that goes into a successful fashion event. Thanks to Teddy and Marshall and Gucci and all their staff, the models walking in Rag and Bone were polished perfection rather than raggedy.