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Backstage at NYFW
The Fashionista finds herself backstage doing hair.

All images by Lynee Ruiz.

For as long as social media has been around, I've been glued to the screen watching all the photos of New York fashion week (NYFW). My dream, of course, was to got here one day, and to do hair backstage was my ultimate goal.

I tried out to be on Amika's backstage hair team for NYFW, and I couldn't have been more excited when I found out I had been accepted. I was able to go for five days of fashion and fun.

It all started with a walk to Lincoln Center, which is the heart of fashion week. I ran into many Milwaukee fashion stars on the steps of the Lincoln Center tents, including Fashion Farmboy's Bjorn Nasett, Linda Marcus and "Project Runway" stars Miranda Levy and Timothy Westbrook.

I found it really entertaining to watch aspiring fashion personalities walk around in their craziest outfits, posing in hope of ending up in the pages of a magazine or a well-known blog. I wish I had snapped a photo of a larger man in a belly dancing dress with a blonde wig and bunny ears. I'll let your imaginations soar.

Together with Amika's team of editorial hair stylists, the next two days consisted of teaching photo-ready hair, and assisting aspiring editorial hair stylists on their own photo shoots. I was honored to meet students from Paris and Sweden, among other countries, who had traveled to New York to learn from us. I even found myself teaching students that didn't speak English how to do a hairstyle - and it turned out well despite the language barrier.

The fashion show I traveled to New York for was the Azede Jean-Pierre show. Shes' a young female designer whose designs are bright and cheerful. The hair we were to do was a perfectly smooth side part bun. Backstage is extremely tight and my shoulders were only inches away from the next hair stylist. Regardless, we finished everyone on time and the show went on without a hitch.

(At left) Me smoothing my models hair back in to that perfect glossy bun.

I was stunned to see MAC Lead Makeup Artist Romero Jennings  teach his team backstage how to perfectly apply the dewy face to the models. The kindness and humility he extended to his team was a breath of fresh air.

This particular fashion show wasn't the expected walk "down the catwalk," but it was a presentation, a new approach some designers are taking to show their collections. Models stand against a backdrop as almost a live photo shoot, while press and photographers are invited to view the line and send out their photos to the masses. I was thrilled to find out that Style.com even named our show "The Next Big Thing."

And the parties during Fashion Week were something else. We were lucky enough to go to celebrity hotspot Beauty & Essex, where we saw Jessica Alba, Bruno Mars, Rita Ora and Samantha Ronson.

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Fashion Plus Design
POSTED 8/20/2014