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Hair, Makeup Artists Scramble to Shape Runway-Ready Looks

By Janet Upadhye | February 12, 2013 12:34pm

NEW YORK CITY — Finnish fashion brand, Ivana Helsinki’s Fall 2013 collection was inspired by the pinup girls of Rotterdam in the 1960s, with swirling geometric patterns and nautical stripes turning heads at their New York Fashion Week runway show.

But it was the sophisticated high buns and bright red lipstick that transformed Ivana Helsinki’s clothes from delicately designed fabric into a complete look. 

“Hair is crucial to a runway show,” said lead hair stylist, Matthew Curtis. “It needs to work together to create a harmonious look to bring out what a designer’s fabrics, clothes and inspiration behind the collection is all about.”

Lead makeup artist John Jones gave equal emphasis to makeup’s role on the runway.

“Makeup is so integral to the success and polish and sophisticated look of a runway show,” he said. “It is the mood of the collection — it is everything. “

Curtis and Jones began working on the models more than three hours before show times. Each led teams of no fewer than seven hair and makeup artists in an attempt to get the models runway ready.

“Buns are not technically difficult,” Curtis said. “But they can be time consuming — especially with so many models.”

As show time neared, there was a high-energy scramble backstage to get the models out the door, letting themselves relax only after each model’s look was perfected.

“Makeup is a fulfilling art form,” Jones said in the aftermath of the backstage rush. “I get chills after a transformation from the wonders of makeup.”