On the Runway

NYFW Beauty: Caitlin Kenny's Backstage Diary [Days 1 & 2]

FLARE’s associate managing editor Caitlin Kenny headed backstage at NYFW to get the beauty scoop for Spring 2014. Here are her notes!

1 - Skyline



Good morning New York! The weather is so wonderfully sunny here—perfect to get me in the mood for Spring collections.

My first stop is at Prism, where Rita Remark (Essie’s Canadian lead nail artist) is keying! It’s her first time directing a manicure look in New York, so I’m happy to support a fellow Canuck. I love the fan-inspired manis she’s creating to suit the presentation’s theme. It’s a negative-space technique (where part of the nail is left bare to create the design). Rita calls it “showing some skin on the nail,” which is definitely fitting for a swimwear collection.

2 - Essie (Prism)

 This is my fourth season backstage, but my first time covering Alexander Wang. I’m excited!

4 - Wang

It’s all about raw beauty at Alexander Wang, so the makeup is minimal (seriously, just face cream, lip balm and, if need be, concealer) and hair is easy with voluminous, messy waves. Making up for the less-exciting look, there’s tons of model spotting to do backstage, with Georgia May Jagger (above), Erin Wasson and Edie Campbell all here.

7 - Georgia May Jagger (Wang)

The Alexander Wang runway is dotted with geometric scaffolding, and the route models have to walk is full of zigs and zags. The girls have a tricky one ahead!

5 - Wang

On my way to my seat, I spot Carine Roitfeld rocking wicked shades. Can’t help but snap a pic!

6 - Carine Roitfeld (Wang)

What do I love more? The laser-cut, block-lettered leather (spelling Alexander Wang over and over again, ever so subtly), or seeing Erin Wasson work the Wang runway? It’s a toss-up!

8 - Erin Wasson (Wang)


OK, I might be turning paparazzi-ish, but I had to a shot of Kanye after the show. I thought he’d be the type to have tight security usher him out, but instead he casually strolled out, chatting with fans and snapping selfies in the process. Note: he was wearing denim and plaid. Gotta love that lumberjack swagger!

9 - Kanye!

The makeup at Altuzarra is a sharp change after the barely-there beauty at Wang. Makeup artist Tom Pecheux is layering red loose powder over M.A.C Lipmix in Red to create a velvety finish. I love the soft white eyeshadow too, but a word of warning from Tom: don’t apply it on your lower lashline too, or else, “you’ll look like a panda.”


Here’s a photo of Tom taking a photo on a journalist’s iPhone (she asked for a selfie and he kindly obliged). I’m a big fan of his approach to beauty: he’s skilled with a brush but also has a lovely outlook on it all—when asked what his one go-to for a fresh, bright look was, he didn’t pick the latest skin potion, but answered “my boyfriend.”


With time to kill before the Altuzarra show, I head to Tortilla Flats next door with a couple beauty girls for a little Texmex fun. #fashionfuel


There’s a Japanese theme at Alexander Wang’s after-party. He’s rented out an entire mall, and redecorated with neon sushi signs, paper lanterns, cherry blossoms, and more. The sake is a-flowin’!


The best way to cap off my first day here: a surprise performance by Nicki Minaj!

11 -Nicki Minaj


After a late night out, I’m glad my call time for Derek Lam is only 10 a.m. Tom Pecheux is keying this show too, creating three different beauty looks that represent a progression from day, to dark, then after-dark with varying degrees of eyeliner. Here, Liu Wen is showing off the cool diamond-shaped navy block for night.

12- Liu Wen (Derek Lam)

Oh to have a kit like Maybelline global makeup artist Charlotte Willer! So many goodies!

13 - Charlotte Willer (DKNY)

This red-orange lip from DKNY is perfection! For the matching rosy cheeks, Charlotte skipped blush and instead blended lip pencil onto the apples for a creamy consistency.


Check out the model board for DKNY, with the one and only Rita Ora bottom right.

15 - Model Board (DKNY)

At Thakoon, hairstylist Odile Gilbert wrapped cord around models’ necks, over their hair, then snipped it right before the show to create a cool face-framing bend.


Almost showtime for Diane von Furstenberg!


I get some one-on-one time with Charlotte Willer to chat in detail about the look she created at DKNY. One of my favourite tidbits to take home: She used eyebrow pencil only on the outer-half of arches so that they would look groomed but not grave.

20 - Charlotte Willer Interview

Backstage closed early at Opening Ceremony, but not before I had a chance to grab a shot of these amazing nails!

16 - Nails (Opening Ceremony)

I’m at The Odeon for a special dinner to celebrate M.A.C’s Antonio Lopez collection. I was expecting an intimate gathering of beauty editors, but was surprised to find myself seated amongst Carine Roitfeld, Kelly Osbourne, Iris Apfel, Sofia Coppola, and the fabulous mother-daughter duo Pat and Anna Cleveland (voguing above).

19 - Pat & Anna Cleveland (MAC Dinner)


Stay tuned for NYFW Beauty: Caitlin Kenny’s Backstage Diary Days 3 & 4!