As another Fashion Week is about to kick off in Paris for the Haute Couture presentations and with my excitement is growing by hours, I decided to dedicate an article to my previous FW experience, one in particular : the series of backstages I had to opportunity to attend with MAC Cosmetics during the last Milan Fashion Week (Fall-Winter 2017/18). It was my first time at a pre-show backstage and believe me when I say it is not what I had expected, in a good, fun way. Here are some surprising backstage facts:
- Everybody wants in. Yep, going backstage is pretty much of an honor and you’ll never ever hear someone say « I went backstage » without a dash of fanciness – after all, you’ve got to see (and post!) the preparations before anybody else. You also need a special pass, an invitation to get in, which makes backstage an exclusive experience.
- Casual dresscode. As backstage takes place right before the show, journalists/bloggers sneak there in their “streetstyle” outfits (aka crazy fashionable and totally inappropriate for daywear), which totally contrast with the supercasual looks of everyone backstage: no one wears heels, it is all about flats and comfort. Models wear leggings and joggings, almost always black, and makeup artists/hair stylists only swear by t-shirts and jeans.
- Total makeover. Imagine a dozen of models arriving backstage straight from another show, with makeup looks and hairstyles all fixed – the first minutes (hours?) backstage are all about removing the work done for the previous show (believe me, it requires a lot of makeup removers) before even thinking of starting the work anew.
- A manu&pedi please. While makeup and hairstyling hold the most important place backstage, there is also place and time for nails – so sometimes you can basically witness a person crouched at a model’s feet doing her pedicure with another person simultaneously doing her manucure. So bad bloggers don’t get the same treatment.
- More efficient than a sauna. Between the heavy lights of the makeup tables and the hair dryers, I had to remove my jacket (and would have taken off anything else if possible) after a couple of seconds backstage. Damn, that heat was crazy. And the reason why I was the only one sweating like in hell while everyone else didn’t even seem to notice the temperature will remain a total mystery to me. Well at least I had a natural strobing effect afterwards – thanks?
- Models do eat! This myth of always-hungry long-legged beauties took end when I’ve seen tables filled with sandwiches, wraps and biscuits set specially for those in backstage. And yes, I’ve actually spotted a model eating two croissants in a row before getting her makeup done.
- Models are real sweethearts. Contrary to popular belief that all models are haughty and unpleasant because they are too gorgeous and/or hungry (please refer to the previous fact), I found them absolutely adorable; they casually chat with makeup artists, eat sandwiches and check their Instagram feeds. Moreover, they gladly pose for cameras, whether you’re holding a professional Canon or your half-broken Iphone.
- Meeting stars. Although there is little chance that you’ll bump into Anna Wintour backstage, you still got to meet celebrities there, starting with Head Makeup Artists – those that are at the origin of the makeup look and spend most of their backstage time giving interviews to magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar etc.
- Tic-toc. The backstage preparations take time, and I’m talking about hours – long hours where makeup is removed and done anew, interviews are given, hair is styled, nails are done, croissants are eaten, coffee is spilled – and at the end, all this time contrasts with the very fast ten minutes of the show. Because yes, a fashion show is a matter of minutes, preceded with ages of preparations.
Pictures : Charles Legrand
Article realized in collaboration with MAC Cosmetics
Pictures from the Les Copains, Byblos Milano and Sportmax shows