Backstage at New York Fashion Week – Preen


I am a huge fan of James Kaliardos and he was the lead makeup artist for MAC backstage at Preen. There were two highlights to being backstage at this show – one was being able to watch Kaliardos at work, and the other I’ll get to later.

I was early for the show so I got to see Kaliardos work on a model while explaining the look to his team. He joked around a lot, but he also explained why he was doing certain steps. For example, as he primed the model’s face, he said that whenever he thought that priming wasn’t important, he would see foundation inadvertently stick to a dry patch he had overlooked. As he smudged eyeshadow underneath the model’s eyes, he casually said: “make sure that you can still see it because if I didn’t want it there I wouldn’t have picked that colour.” It’s not that his team wouldn’t have followed his instructions regardless – that is their job. But his little hints stressed the importance of each step so that it stuck in the makeup artists’ (and my own) minds.
Here’s the final look – it was inspired by a mix of Kim Basinger in Nine and a Half Weeks and Kurt Cobain. So it was a subdued and slightly grungy. The makeup was a stained kind of lip and a taupe eye which used the standby Satin Taupe with a cream-to-powder shadow in the crease and for lining. It’s a look that’s very wearable.

The hair was all over the place – deliberately messy but clean. The product the hair team used most here was Bumble and Bumble Styling Lotion which conditioned the hair but also helped hold it in place. The hair was described to me as “the hair that everybody wants”.


And now to the second highlight of being backstage at Preen: one of the models for the show was Lily Donaldson. If you read this blog a lot, you know that she is one of my all time favourite models, so it was a thrill seeing her in person.


If you’re trying to remember where you saw her, she was in a Dior perfume campaign some time ago. That picture of her is before any hair or makeup was done.


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2 Responses to Backstage at New York Fashion Week – Preen

  1. bitterbabe February 8, 2008 at 3:24 am #

    Wow this sounds like a blast!!

  2. Erika February 12, 2008 at 12:43 am #

    Lily is gorgeous!

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