Runway photos courtesy of The security to get backstage at
Vivienne Westwood’s Paris show was rather intense. But that’s what happens when a fabulous fashion spectacle is staged at the British Ambassador’s Residence on Embassy Row. Once I made it through the gauntlet of buff, tall MI5-looking men, I entered the fashion tent in the spacious backyard where Westwood’s inventive, quirky world was taking shape.

Makeup is never a simple, scaled-back affair with this British designer. “It’s about playtime,” makeup artist Val Garland explained to me, while she was painting the outline of a heart onto a model’s face. “It’s a little bit Marie Antoinette. Basically, it’s about putting all the makeup ideas into a bag, juggling them all up and seeing what comes out. It’s about playtime. Theatre!”

Click through to see backstage beauty pics & read more about the show…