Hair, makeup, lights, action! New York Fashion Week (NYFW) feels like a full-fledged Hollywood production that takes place on the mean streets of Manhattan where models and pedestrians walk the same runway daily. Being blessed with the opportunity to witness some of the madness first hand for the first time in my life, I can’t wait to share the details with you here today.
What follows is a fly on the wall reporting and some behind the scenes experiences in beauty, style, and fabulous events at New York Fashion Week 2017.
I had the unprecedented joy of following around one of the most talented hair and beauty experts in the business while at fashion week in New York. My dear friend and hair genius Jimmy Salazar (@jimmyhilton) invited me to join him at some of the shows he worked with the renowned Ted Gibson Artistic Team and Prive by Laurent D. Jimmy is an expert color and stylist specializing in Balayage. As destiny would have it, I met Jimmy over 5 years ago when I moved to Huntington Beach and was looking for a local hair stylist. After some Internet research, and interference by the God’s of beauty, I was led to Cristophe Salon in Newport Beach where I was matched with Jimmy and the rest is history.
Jimmy’s talents have earned him a full book of business on both the West and East coasts, flying back and forth once a month to service all his clients. In New York, Jimmy holds fort at the famed Prive by Laurent D Salon at the Sherry Netherland Hotel in one of Manhattan’s most eminent neighborhoods on 5th Avenue. Prive by Laurent D sits catty corner to The Plaza Hotel and is at the foot of Central Park, steps from every major designer boutique, and the start of Millionaire’s Mile, a stretch of real estate known widely for being home to some of the richest people in the world.
Much to my delight, my time at NYFW included meeting some incredible people I’ve admired from afar, including Marc Cornwall, celebrity makeup artist and NYC native. Marc has been making people beautiful for years in print and television, working with Vogue, Elle, and other international fashion magazines. In addition to the list of incredible references, Marc does makeup for super model Veronica Webb, and a string of other models, actors, and celebs in New York City. I had the pleasure of getting to know Marc and learning more about his craft during fashion week, and even had an impromptu product review and makeup application by the artist himself. More about that and the products he gave me on my next blog post!
The Shows & The Parties
Getting to experience NYFW has been a dream since I can remember. I used to sit on my bedroom floor with every fashion magazine I could get my hands on sprawled out around me, flipping through the pages and cutting out the looks I would ultimately glue to a vision board or file away secretly for my own collection inspiration. I never did become a designer, but I still secretly file impeccable looks from magazines and lust from a distance. So you can imagine what a thrill it was to be able to be in Manhattan at such an incredible time.
New York Fashion Week is quite remarkable. The ambiance in the city is incomparable. I generally visit NYC once a year in December, and can’t tell you how different the vibe and atmosphere is in comparison to Christmas in New York – no contest. Through my good friend Jimmy, I was able to immerse into the fashion scene for a few days and see just how much energy goes into beauty and fashion – behind the scenes. Thank you Jimmy, I can’t begin to express my gratitude to you!
Manaola Hawaii – The After Party
Manaola is a Hawaiian luxury lifestyle brand by designer Manaola Yap who is the 2nd Hawaiian designer to show at NYFW ever in history. His line is chic and island inspired with a grand execution. At the after party celebration, I got to meet some incredible people from Hawaii and see the clothes up close and personal.
Carmen Marc Valvo
Being a fan of the brand for years now, it was a huge honor to see the Carmen Marc Valvo SS18 line at its presentation at NYFW. Carmen’s aesthetic never disappoints, with his Spring/Summer 2018 line bringing a fabulous flare to what looks like dramatic vacation wear. The line was introduced at the designer’s showroom in a building on the 25th floor in Time’s Square. I mixed and mingled with fellow fashion gawkers and even got to meet Carmen himself. Total thrill!
The Ted Gibson Artistic team, led by master stylist Ted Gibson himself, was responsible for the hair for Carmen’s show. Mr. Gibson was kind enough to give me a quick interview explaining his inspiration and execution for the style for the show.
Berenik by Veronika Brusa
Veronika Brusa created a more casual presentation for her fall line. Brusa, who is also a painter, chose to set the stage by placing her abstract paintings on a large swath of the wall and floor, on which 50 men and women — many of them dancers —modeled the clothes in dramatically choreographed modern dance movements. Guests were invited into the showroom and walked around the space to see the clothes. It was quite a moving experience.
Ralph Lauren Perfume Launch Party
One of the most exhilarating experiences at NYFW was attending the Ralph Lauren “Woman” perfume launch party at his Upper East Side boutique and flag ship store on Madison. The exquisitely appointed expansive space laid out like a modern palace, complete with mannequins decked in Lauren’s designs, exotic cars and wall displays of jewelry and photos from lines past. I quickly found myself in complete awe of what I was standing in the middle of. The label’s design and corporate executives mingled with magazine editors and celebs while gorgeous male models in RL designed mechanic jumpsuits tray passed champagne and caviar. You can imagine my surprise when I walked in off the street thinking I would just pop in for a sample of the new scent and ended up in a full on Alice in Wonderland experience. Yes, friends, I crashed this party! Before I knew it, I was walking up the grand stair case glaring at the world around me swimming in all the beauty and heritage of the brand that laced every inch of the multi level space.
I can’t express enough what a complete thrill it was to experience NYFW and the city in general during this time. My heart truly belongs to Manhattan, and I leave a piece of it behind every time I visit. This trip was of particular importance because I got to spend time with one of my favorite people in the world and got to meet other artists that I am really inspired by. Let me take one more opportunity to thank my sweet friend, Jimmy, for showing me his fabulous world for a week. I will never forget your generosity! Jims – I love you! You can find Jimmy on social @jimmyhilton
For my next blog post, I’ll be sharing products and interviews from more beauty experts I met at NYFW, including some fun behind the scenes fun when I got my hair did at Prive! So stay tuned!
Cristophe Salon Newport Beach | @cristophenewportbeach
Prive by Laurent D | @privebylaurentd
Jimmy Salazar | @jimmyhilton
Marc Cornwall | @marc_cornwall