When you’re running around reporting from backstage for New York Fashion Week, it’s a slightly different story than attending the shows front of house. Gone is the glamour and people-watching. Instead, it's all about the hot and crowded backstage area. Coffee-spilling, hair-pulling and a photographer’s scrum pit are just some of the scenes witnessed - backstage is not for the faint-hearted. A typical day involves arriving at the first show at around 7.30am to collect your backstage pass to secure quotes and exclusive interviews from the world’s top hair and make-up artists who are frantically creating the fashion show looks (these can change at the last minute so there’s always a slight air of edginess). Note taking, video recording, tweeting and photo taking all have to be done in around 15 minutes before you get moved on by a fashion or beauty PR so it’s essential to act fast and effectively – not so easy when you’re juggling a camera, notepad, BlackBerry and Flip camera. I feel like a travelling one-man digital gadget band! You’re never standing in the right place backstage, you’re always in someone’s way so not only are you on your feet all day, you’re also hopping from one foot to the other to try and make yourself invisible!
The shows take place in a few areas in Manhattan and as I was staying in Soho it means travelling in a taxi across town to get to most of the shows. Bryant Park (where the Fashion Week tents are) and Chelsea are the most popular locations with the exception of Milk Studios in the Meatpacking district where MAC cosmetics have collaborated with NY’s hippest studio where they’re holding up and coming designer shows, the first season this has happened. As the time difference is five hours behind, it means returning after the last show and filing copy to the web editor back at Grazia before they get up in the morning so staying up sending copy, photos and videos is essential then it all starts again the next day around 6.15am!
Getting up close to the models and seeing what they really wear, eat and act like
Hanging out at the catering table so you can pinch the yummy snacks – best find of the week? The most delicious cheese plate and can of Ginger Ale at Band of Outsiders…the. It's the best snack to keep you going!
Speaking to your favourite make-up and hairstylists - it’s unbelievable what they do in the time they’re given.
Getting a preview of the clothes and accessories before the fash pack see them!
Essential Kit for NY
Bobbi Brown Eye Brightener - the only concealer to cover dark shadows
Flat shoes (just forget that you look even shorter than you already are next to a model)
Lip balm - I seem to do a lot of lip licking when I’m concentrating and they get sore!
Revlon’s new Double Twist mascara. It’s not out yet, so I thought I'd put it to the Fashion Week test – and it passed! Long, curled lashes that don't flake.
Water - Fiji water if you’re in NY (even your water must be the right brand!)
CASH! Taxis are a necessity.
A nail file.
BlackBerry, netbook, flip, camera.
However, in a spare and rare couple of hours off from running between shows, there’s one place all beauty backstagers head to - Sakura on the Lower East Side, where you you can get amazing nail designs (think degradation, crystals, glitter etc) or just have your usual French polish. Whatever you decide to go for, you’ll not walk away disappointed. Just