Fashion & Culture
Beauty | Fashion

What Happens Backstage at NYFW

February 25, 2018

While most fashion shows appear to be serene from your seat at the runway, backstage is an arena of chaos and utter madness. Here’s a small glimpse of what you don’t see from the stage.

What most people would find a frenzy of makeup artists, hair stylists, photographers, journalists, publishers, assistants, and models, I find complete bliss! This is the team that is responsible for bring a designers' vision to life. They are the ones who are there from the first hour of the day to the final photo at the end of the show, to ensure every detail is perfect.

The models typically start to arrive two hours before the show starts. This may seem ridiculous, and you are probably wondering what on earth could take that long. If you think about it however, there are an average of twenty models and half that number of makeup, hair, and clothing stylists. So, for all twenty of the models to rotate to each station, walk a rehearsal runway, and have time to individually prepare, two hours is hardly enough time at all! This results what appears to be chaos. 

Hair Stylist Yasuko Tsuda
Hair Stylist Yasuko Tsuda

Backstage activities consists of camera shutters going off every two seconds, hair stylists in a haze of hairspray, models huddled together in small groups, and assistants yelling for everyone to hurry up. It may not be evident from the runway, but everyone backstage works equally as hard to bring the show together. 

All the models tend to have the same hairstyle, depending on the theme of the show. This can vary from, voluminous curls, short and edgy, straight and sleek, chopped and punk, and many more. You will find that the majority of the time, the hair that you will see the models have on the runway is not their natural hair. Because everyone looks different, the hair stylists are constantly having to use extensions and wigs to create the look the designer has in mind. 


You may think that being able to interview a model would be easy, especially with almost two dozen of them. In fact, it’s the opposite. The girls have very little time to spare when preparing for a show. They are either going into makeup, getting shoes on, or simply caught up in the buzz of excitement flying around. However, since my dad and I arrived at the Zang Toi fashion show shortly after the models themselves got there, I was able to get a couple interviews and photos with the girls before the real madness begun.


It was interesting to hear both Shan Fernandez and Daria Mikhaylova, shared positive opinions on Mister Toi’s designs. Shan’s favorite part of wearing Zang Toi’s designs is how flowy and long the outfits are. They have deep cuts in both the back and legs which makes it feel resplendent. She said she was very excited to be wearing a beautiful, long fuschia dress which is off the shoulder, and had a long draping back.

Shan Fernandez
Shan Fernandez

Daria’s favorite part of wearing Zang Toi’s designs on the runway is that you can be anything you want to be. You have the power to embody and whole new person, and for those few minutes where you have the lights streaming down on you, and eyes watching, you can decide who you want to be, and the character in story you are going to play. She also commented that she loves how flowy all the outfits are.

Daria Mikhaylova
Daria Mikhaylova

Upon entering the show room, you'll find a different kind of chaos, only less organized. The room is filled with fashion addicts and photographers all trying to steal each others spot in order to get the million dollar photo. With luck, you might even spot a few celebrities.


While waiting in line, I bumped into the angel Josephine Skriver. Although she is one of the most in-demand models of this generation, she's also sweet, kind, and happy to talk to a young blogger. I also met Bing, a singer and pop star from Shanghai. Bing was wearing one of the most daring outfits of the evening including her hallmark mask. You see, you never know who you might meet and where it could take you at a fashion show!

Josephine Skriver
Josephine Skriver

Once the music starts, the excitement shared by everyone comes to a peek. All eyes focus on the runway in anticipation of the launch of this seasons designs. This is my impression of what goes on backstage at New York Fashion Week.