Backstage at Brandon Maxwell Image by: Imaxtree
Fashion does not break for the weekend. Here is everything that went down at New York Fashion Week this Saturday and Sunday for ELLE Canada's beauty editor.
Saturday September 8
7:30 a.m. I drag myself out of bed. The YSL Beauty party last night—held in that super tech-y house from Mr. Robot—turned into drinks at Public Hotel until 2:00 a.m. I put on a pair of Fila's and walk over to Spring Studios to go backstage at Self-Portrait.
8:00 a.m. In the elevator ride up to the floor where hair and makeup is happening, everyone is talking about the Cardi B and Nicki Minaj drama from the Harper's Bazaar Icons party. I somehow (read: wine) missed this, and spend a good 15 minutes Googling.
8:20 a.m. Makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver is using a white eyeliner to create a few different graphic, painterly looks. A few months ago I said I was ready for white eyeliner to make a comeback and received a lukewarm response, so I feel vindicated.
10:00 a.m. I go back to the hotel to upload audio files from backstage and catch up on emails.
Noon It's back to Spring Studios for Christian Cowan, where makeup artist and Official Coolest Human Alive Isamaya Ffrench is doing a look: Black liquid lipstick (this one), black eyeliner, false lashes and some gold glitter. Excellent.
1:00 p.m. I have just under two hours to kill, so I walk to Chelsea Market and grab sushi for lunch before wandering over to Jonathan Simkhai, which is being held in a studio nearby.
2:30 p.m. Backstage at Simkhai, I find fellow Canadian Grace Lee, the lead makeup artist for the show, and her Canadian-by-way-of-England assistant Leah Elliston. They're mixing Maybelline SuperStay Matte Ink lipstick with lip balm to create this really beautiful burgundy stain. I lament the fact that the makeup remover designed for that product is not available in Canada. (Once it's on, it truly doesn't move.) The Maybelline PR interrupts my complaining to say it will be available next year. Wonderful.
3:30 p.m. It's pouring rain again, so I call an Uber to take me to Pier 76 where Brandon Maxwell is holding his show.
4:00 p.m. We're in a very cool industrial space off the West Side Highway, very similar to the one where Alexander Wang used to hold his shows. Every major model is here: Bella, Gigi, Joan, Taylor Hill, Grace Elizabeth, Lily Aldridge. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux says the vibe is "a young Brooke Shields in Texas." He tells me and a group of other editors that it isn't about creating a caricature of Texan glamour, but embracing Texan women's love of makeup. This means doing brows, mascara, purple eyeliner, pink eyeshadow, pink blush and pink lip gloss. They're also adding freckles. Nail genius Rita Remark creates a glossy jelly nail with Essie's Sugar Daddy, which, of course, has a pinkish tinge. I'm very into it.
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The @brandonmaxwell nails wore a glossy jelly pink ( @essie sugar daddy) to suit the young Texan It-girl muse. Everything from the models (@gigihadid @bellahadid @lilyaldridge @joansmalls to name a few), to the genius hair @jamespecis and makeup @tompecheux teams working with me, to the pink runway adorned with pickup trucks, flowers and Texan flags - this show was absolute perfection. Thank you @brandonmaxwell ❤️ @essie. // #nyfw #runway #nails #lilyaldridge
5:00p.m. I have a seat for the show, but it's not for another hour, so I run to the nearest bar with the Essie PR for a glass of wine and fries. Sadly the fries are soggy and inedible.
6:00p.m. We arrive at the show. They are giving out Lockhart Link burgers, a Texan speciality, courtesy of Shake Shack. The space is designed to look like a tailgate party, with red fold-up camping chairs placed in the back of Kia Telluride pick-up trucks. According to the show notes, Maxwell, a Texas native, designed the collection in Marfa and wanted to give back to the community. Both he and Kia commit to making a donation to underfunded schools in the area. Models walk to Selena's Dreaming of You for the finale, and I leave with the song in my head.
9:00 p.m. I run to the Maybelline party on a rooftop. All the spokesmodels are in attendance. Determined to get seven hours of sleep, I leave just after midnight.
Sunday September 9
8:00 a.m. I quickly check out of the Public Hotel and into the Indigo, where Maybelline has set up a pop-up shop for NYFW.
10:00 a.m. It's over to the cavernous Park Avenue Armoury where dream team Pat McGrath and Guido Palau are creating an '80s inspired look for Escada.
11:15 a.m. I run over to Maybelline House to interview Adriana Lima, who inexplicably looks younger than she did when I last interviewed her a year ago. She's not walking any shows this season, which is a first for her.
2:00 p.m. Rodarte is back in New York after showing in Paris for two years, and I'm beyond thrilled. Backstage, French hairstylist Odile Gilbert is creating works of art weaving various types of flowers through models hair. The vibrant makeup, done by James Kaliardos for NARS, is inspired by a Picasso exhibit he saw at the Tate. It's all very romantic and slightly moody (the show is being held in a cemetery)—an excellent combo.
4:00 p.m. I head backstage at Opening Ceremony, which is being held at nightclub La Poisson Rouge. I learn designer Humberto Leon has partnered with drag queen Sasha Velour to put on quite the extravaganza.
5:00 p.m. I grab an Uber to Spring Studios to go backstage at Prabal Gurung. Anwar Hadid (brother to Gigi and Bella) and Presley Gerber (brother to Kaia) are both in attendance, and are drawing nearly as much attention as their famous sisters.
8:00 p.m. I head back to La Poisson Rouge for the OC show. It's a tiny venue, and it's packed. Nicki Minaj and rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine are sitting front row. There is an ongoing gag that Christina Aguilera is going to perform, so everyone is surprised when she actually shows up to sing Fall in Line for the finale.
10:30 p.m. I realize I haven't eaten anything and find the only restaurant that is open at this time on a Sunday night in the Lower East Side, grab food (ramen) to-go and head back to the hotel to write.