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The Schmooze

Behind Scenes at Fashion Week With Yigal Azrouël

Fashion Week is a hurricane that sweeps through the industry. The biggest shows happen twice annually, during the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter collections. Designers spend months creating their visions for the upcoming seasons, and in a single day, in mere hours, it’s all over: the beautifying, the catwalking, the flash of cameras and the crowds. Until next season, that is.

I recently had the pleasure documenting the Fall/Winter 2015 collection of Yigal Azrouël, an Israeli-born designer of French Moroccan and Jewish descent (who I also mentioned in my round up of Jewish designers presenting their collections this Fashion Week).

Take a look at what happens behind the scenes, just before models take off down the runway:

No improvisation here! All of the looks from the entire collection are photographed and assembled onto a board backstage. This way, people dressing the models know exactly how each outfit should be styled and in what order they should come out during the show.

Your face is a canvas, darling! A lead makeup artist works with the designer to assemble a beauty look that makes the style and mood of the collection. This season, Azrouël was inspired by Russian modern art and design.

Hair, nails, and makeup galore: the models arrive 2-3 hours before showtime to get primped for the runway.

Backstage in the hair and makeup rooms is orderly chaos. Miraculously, everything gets done exactly on time, every time.

Eyeliner was handcrafted into this unique shape just for the show. Maybe it’s not something you’d wear when running to the grocery store, but it works on the runway!

State your name and business: all the clothes models wear during the show are grouped together by name for easily accessible quick changes.

Sometimes I wish I could have two people blow dry my hair at once so I could get out the door as quickly as the models get on the runway.

Makeup artists: because some days you don’t just “wake up like this.”

Backstage is a beauty playground, but it’s also a social media circus. If you didn’t photograph a model for Instagram, did she really exist?

The look assembled by the lead hairstylist. Does the model approve?

Yigal Azrouël takes a pose break before the show.

Models strut their stuff in show rehearsal. In their civvies, of course.

I can’t imagine the surgery I’d need walking in heels like that after five minutes, let alone a whole fashion show.

Azrouël considers maybe changing the order of some looks in the show. At the last minute? That never happens! (It happens all the time).

The crowd gathers, finds their seats, and promptly checks in on Instagram and Twitter.

Architecturally-inspired pieces reigned supreme in Azrouël’s Fall/Winter 2015 collection.

Black and white? Classic and fantastic.

The finale is upon us, giving us one last look at all the gorgeous clothes until we see them in stores six months from now.

Azrouël briefly greets the crowd after the collection. So quick we can just barely get a glimpse of him. Until next season, that is!

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