When I first started covering the runway shows in Paris in the ’90s, the backstage area was strictly off limits. Once, as a special and unusual treat, I was invited to observe the proceedings, and my visit was run with military-like precision. Don’t speak to or, God forbid, snap a picture of Cindy Crawford while she’s getting made up. Leave Linda Evangelista alone in the corner where she is doing her own makeup. Don’t bother Naomi, period. My mission was to quietly observe the exotic birds in their natural habitat, take notes and stay out of the way!
Today, the backstage space has become a chaotic scrum. Editors and photographers are jostling
for attention, and makeup artists and hairstylists are often pushed aside as a lens or a microphone is shoved in a model’s face. The stylists themselves are now celebrities dispensing how-to tips as beauty gospel. And the smart models have become experts at dishing up sound bites and personal style savvy.
Now, what happens behind the scenes is often just as exciting as what appears on the runway. That creative energy was the inspiration for our first-ever beauty guide. Our team of beauty writers, led by FLARE’s new beauty director, Carlene Higgins, looked at hair, makeup, skin and nails from every angle—backstage, on the runway, from the red carpet and through the lens of influential street style—to bring you the ultimate beauty guide of spring and summer trends. They tracked down a select few of the main players, including one of my favourites, FLARE’s own Anthea Simms, our London-based photographer who has been shooting the scene for us for almost 30 years. After one particularly rough day in Paris with her, having been subjected to crappy weather, loutish crowds (that would be fashion editors) and pushy photographers, I asked her why she still bothered to work the manic international runway schedule. Exhausted, she looked up from her steak frites and said, “I guess I just love it.”
And we love it too—including every new nail colour and newbie Canadian model taking her first strut down the runway. Everyone at FLARE poured their passion and talent into this special collector’s issue. I hope it will inspire you to pick up a makeup brush and a handful of new colours and experiment.