Behind the Scenes of Fashion Week

Sep 06 2018

fashion show runway

Fashion Week. This iconic event takes place around the world. Did you know that behind the scenes makeup artists, hair stylists and fashion designers work together to create the looks you see on the runway? It’s true! As a licensed cosmetologist you could have the opportunity to work behind the curtain with models and other professionals. If you’ve dreamed of a career in the fast-paced world of fashion, cosmetology could be your in!

The Douglas J family is proud to say that we’ve had one of our professional stylists work Fashion Week. We wanted Tess Bradley, a current Hair Designer at the Rochester Hills Douglas J Salon, to share her experiences about working behind the scenes.

Fashion Week 2016

Tess worked Style Fashion Week in New York in September of 2016. This event was putting a spotlight on ready-to-wear looks by designer Malan Breton. Breton was a previous contestant on “Project Runway”. His looks featured full gowns, menswear and womenswear. Models that hit the runway included actress Greer Grammer and actor Tituss Burgess from Netflix’s hit show “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”.

When we spoke to Tess about her experience, she recalled it with fondness and excitement.

“It was very intense. We assisted Vivienne Mackinder. Most of the models and local hairdressers are doing so many shows. There was a lot going on. It’s all hands on deck! Don’t do nothing!”

Fashion Week is an amazing experience, and it’s no surprise that there is a lot to do! Hairstylists and makeup artists are a part of a larger team that makes the whole event move smoothly. Without some key players, the show wouldn’t go on.

With all the excitement happening, we wondered what Tess was doing while she was backstage in the chaos, “I was doing hair. There were 50 models and 20 hairdressers. We assisted the lead hairdresser. She took the most difficult things. She had two lead assistants. She assigned all the looks and we all got emails on them and she made videos that demonstrated the looks, and she told us what to do.”

What Tess Learned at Fashion Week

“My biggest takeaway was the teamwork element. You plan and plan and plan, and everyone was prepared, and then all of a sudden it’s go time. I thought it’d be more individual, but everyone works together. Everyone pitches in. There are no egos. It’s more like what needs to get done, let me help you.”

As a professional stylist and as someone who went through training at a professional beauty school, Tess learned how to work with a team and collaborate with others. This is a skill that is in demand backstage! At Douglas J Aveda Institute we like to offer our students the opportunity to participate in a variety of competitions and activities (like NAHA) that can prepare students for fun career achievements like Fashion Week.

While we are sure that the career-focused skills Tess took away were impressive, we asked if she learned any fun hair hacks that she’s brought back to Douglas J.

“Vivienne did a fun thing with the wigs. They [the wigs] mostly come pre-straightened. She wanted more textured looks, so she shampooed them and scrunched them, and she had all the wigs out on her balcony drying in the sun. It wouldn’t have looked natural had she done it another way!”

What Beauty School Can Teach You About Fashion Week

There’s so much to learn in beauty school. In addition to all of the skills in actually doing hair, you can gain expertise in how to work on a creative team, give and receive feedback, improvisation and more!

What You Need to Be Like Tess

Wondering what you need to work a prestigious event such as Fashion Week? It starts with an education! You can learn to style, cut and color hair and wigs and so much more in a cosmetology program. Contact Douglas J Aveda Institute to learn more about our program!