Access All Areas at New York Fashion Week

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Karoliina Saunders of Karoliina Saunders Hair Design in Swindon is no stranger to the world of fashion. As an ex-model and backstage stylist for London Fashion Week, Karoliina decided to head to the Big Apple to work backstage at New York Fashion Week…

As an ex model and seasoned backstage stylist at London Fashion Week, I thought I’d  pretty much seen it all when it comes to fierce behind the scenes action! Nothing, however prepared me for the full-on force that is NYFW!!

The sheer pace and frenzy is like nothing I’ve seen before, and assisting British hairdresser, Anthony Turner at Prabal Gurung’s SS19 show at Spring Studios NY was amazing. Prabal’s collection had a sportswear ease and with fashions that were designed to cling with strategic cut outs.

There were two hair looks. The first with braids at the front of the hair which was then pulled through to a textured bun. The second look incorporated more texture and height with hair pulled back into a bun. The finishing touch was a colourful rope which weaved through the bun.

Working in pairs we had just TWO hours to do 40 plus models, and among those showcasing the clothes were major names such as Gigi and Bella Hadid along with their brother Anwar.

While we were working at a crazy pace we had so much fun and we were given an awesome kit bag courtesy of Wella and HotTools, which we got to keep. Oh, and the refreshments were great too!

Next it was on to Philip Lim SS19 where I had the privilege of assisting British session stylist, Gary Gill. I have admired Gary’s work for so long and finally tracked him down in a bid to work with him!

It was worth the wait! Gary is a true perfectionist and gives very detailed instructions and directions. As a fellow perfectionist I loved following the strict brief and the hair was kept sleek at the front with a centre parting while the back was left very natural with lots of texture.

This show was outside on the rooftop of a high school in the Lower East Side, which meant we had to make sure we used plenty of product, as it rained all day!

The hair worked perfectly with the collection, which had a real resort wear feel with lots of layering and some 1960s inspired pieces.

Philip Lim’s clothes are a big hit with ‘A’ list celebrities, so it was no surprise to see Sofia Richie and Kelly Rowland in the audience.

So what did I think of my very first NYFW? Amongst all the madness there is always time to laugh and enjoy the moment. Most of all, as a hairdresser who has styled hair for 25 years, I still learn something new from each show I do and that’s what is so fantastic about our profession.

Next stop London and back with my Label M friends working backstage at LFW. Watch out for my next backstage, access all areas blog coming soon!

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