Backstage at Toronto Fashion Week

Last week The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide sent me to cover the action backstage at Toronto Fashion Week.  I had the chance to get a peek at what goes down backstage before the models hit the runway and to speak with some industry gurus for an inside scoop on some of the up and coming beauty trends for Spring 2013.

So what is it like backstage where all the looks come together? 

Backstage was an organized frenzy as makeup artists and hair stylists were working away hurriedly to get all the models ready for the show.  It was a sea of people armed with makeup brushes, blow dryers, hair straighteners and media snapping photos.  I made my way through clouds of hairspray to chat with Grace Lee, Maybelline New York’s Lead Makeup Artist and Redken’s lead stylist, Jorge Joao for some insider information.  I also got the opportunity to speak to Aluad, a model from Ford Models about her experience backstage.

Left to right: Joe Fresh Model, Jorge Joao (Lead Stylist with Redken), Grace Lee (Maybelline New York’s Lead Makeup Artist)

For Grace Lee and Jorge Joao, working backstage is “crazy” and “hectic”.  They are “working 15 hour days” on pure adrenaline, “bouncing ideas back and forth” between designer and artist, “managing and prepping their team” and making sure the “designer’s vision comes to life”.  As a model, Aluad describes backstage as “chaos”.  She sits in “makeup for about 30-40 minutes and from there rushes to get dressed” (she’s thankful she “doesn’t have any hair” forgoing the need to have her hair styled!).  Despite the mad rush backstage, they all “love the feeling” and “become addicted to” the adrenaline.

Pictured right:  Grace Lee

Joe Fresh himself, Joe Mimran, looks on as model gets prepped for his show.

I had the pleasure of watching the looks of the Joe Fresh runway show come to life.  Envisioned by Joe Mimran, Creative Director of Joe Fresh, these looks echoed the upcoming Spring makeup and hair trends.

If you want to stay a step ahead of the curve, here’s what you need to know:


According to Grace Lee, Spring makeup trends are all about keeping it “fresh and clean” with “bold lips in reds and oranges” and just keeping it to “one little pop of colour”.  You don’t have to completely re-vamp your makeup collection to achieve this look.  Adding one or two products will do the trick.  Get a “pop of colour somewhere” by using a vibrant eyeliner, lipstick or lip gloss.  For the gal on the go, a red lip (such as Maybelline’s Sensational Very Cherry lipstick) is the perfect way to transition from a day to an evening look ready to hit the streets of Toronto.  Grace’s new favourite products are Maybelline’s Sensational Vivids Lipcolor (like Vibrant Mandarin), Color Whisper Lip Colour and The Rocket Volume Mascara.  For Grace this mascara is “the one” and will “blow all of them [mascaras] out of the water”.  Why she loves it?  It “works so fast” you get “instant lashes in seconds – 1, 2 strokes and bam!” you’re done.


For Spring hair trends, Jorge Joao says it’s all about “keeping it easy” and “working with natural textures”.  Gone are the days of “spending hours in front of the mirror”.  He suggests “looking for products that bring out your natural texture”.  Some looks to try for Spring are tying hair up by “bringing it up to a full bun” and “adding accessories” to the bun such as “braids and knots”.  Or, take a page from the Joe Fresh Spring look and wear a “ponytail with a twist”.  Give it a “vintage feel” by wearing it loose around the ears, using flyaway texture and wrapping your hair around the knot.

I also snapped a couple of photos of some Canadian celebs in attendance at the Joe Fresh show.

Jeannine Beker

Singer-songwriter Jully Black

Story featured on The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide.

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