NYFW Fall 2013: From backstage to the third row at Michael Kors

Feb 15 2013 by
Categories : Fashion

The theme for
Michael Kors’ fall/winter collection was "urban survival." Kors told
WWD that he was inspired to explore the sometimes inherent tension between athleticism and luxury after he had to slum it at The Mark hotel during/after Hurricane Sandy. If you read my "Day in the Life" blog series (
part 1,
part 2 and
part 3), you’ll see why this survival theme resonated with me. I’ve put together a photo essay of my adventures from the backstage to the front row. (Okay, it was the third row, but you get the idea.)
 1: I love it when there’s clear signage! (For someone who is direction-challenged, this is appreciated. Greatly.)

2: Model watchers can always catch snaps of their fave runway stompers as they mill about outside the tents.

3. Before you enter the backstage area, you first sign in at a press table. They give you a badge and then you walk by burly (imposing—but usually friendly) security guards. (This fella wouldn’t let me take a photo of his face. I decided it was best not to press the matter.)

4. It’s always a bit of a zoo backstage, so my first goal was to find the hair and/or beauty command centre and look for my intended interview subjects. In this case, it was Dick Page (for makeup) and Orlando Pita (for hair). Here’s Pita putting the final touches on one of the male models.

What did he do for the women’s hair? Hint: It involves material he purchased in a sex shop. Check it out.

5. Pita told the group of beauty editors who gathered around him that he was creating a "’50s ponytail but done in a ’90s minimalist way. There’s a slight wave, but it’s not as high, as bouncy or as curly as the ’50s ponytail. It’s sleeker. To give it a modern twist, we’re wrapping the base with latex tape."

6. One beauty editor asked if you can buy the tape in a sex shop. "Yes," said Pita. "There’s no adhesive, which is why you can use it on your hair. If you’re not sure what to ask for in the shop, just tell them that you’re looking for tape to tie somebody up and they’ll know what you’re talking about."

7. I trolled around the beauty half of the tent waiting for Page to say a few words about his look. Meanwhile, I checked out the cheat sheets on the makeup tables to get a sense of his direction. Later, Page told us that Kors wanted him to create a look that was either an uptown girl going downtown to the clubs or a club kid going up to Mr. Chow’s for dinner. Page described the look as a "tough" adding the square shape of the shadow inspired the name "block eye."

7. Now I just needed to find a model I could photograph…. I’m always looking for Canadian girls, which is why I snapped 
Meghan Collison.

8. Sometimes it takes a village to get a girl ready for the show…

9.  Sometimes it’s a little more DIY…

10. Real photographers at work vs. my own DIY attempt.
11. Makeup, check. Hair, check. Now it was time to check out the fashion, but first I wanted to drive by the food table to see if there was anything left to eat. Sadly, it was slim pickings by the time I got there.

12: Sometimes you don’t have access to where the clothes are kept, but this time I was able to breeze on by the friendly security guard I’d chatted with earlier. (See photo #3.)

13. I’m like a magpie when it comes to fashion. If it’s sparkles, I’m on it.

14. This is how it looked on the runway!

15. I also like to check out the fashion storyboards. It’s the fashion equivalent of hockey cards.

16. The dress rehearsal is the only time it gets very quiet backstage. I loved that Michael Kors wrote a mission statement for the models to read before they walked his runway.

17. After the backstage area was closed to the press, it was time to head to the front door.

18. The front-row celebs will usually pose for shots before taking their seats. Jada Pinkett Smith (below) was joined by her daughter, Willow. Other boldface names included Zoe Saldana, Paz Vega and Karolina Kurkova.

19. I’m not a fan of the peplum, but I loved this more modern take on the sweater dress.

20. The look that I thought best captured Michael Kors’ uptown-downtown urban warrior.
That’s a wrap! Then I was off to the next show…
See our top 20 looks from Michael Kors Fall 2013!


Catch up on the top runway looks at New York Fashion Fall 2013: Marc Jacobs, Marchesa, Proenza Schouler & many more!

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Categories: Fashion