February 26th, 2016

Backstage at NYFW

NYFW F/W’16 was my first fashion week. I had dreamed of getting involved with fashion week after watching the first season of Project Runway at the age of 7. Helping out backstage this season was one of the best experiences of my life and I felt as if I was teleported into a world where everyone understood that fashion as an essential part life. NYFW F/W’16 was absolute perfection. My only regret of the week was not buying an unlimited MetroCard.

Baja East was my first show of the week. Backstage pass in hand, I walked through the maze of black curtains. As soon as the models arrived at their spots, it was go time. With models dressed and in line I started snapping pictures on my phone. Within minutes a swarm of photographers rushed backstage to dodge the dressers and beauty teams perfecting the models before show time. Once the music started blaring, models danced their way into a line headed for the runway. The energy backstage was intense and electrifying.

Next was the Jonathan Simkhai show. Two other helpers arrived with me at Milk Studios trying keep garment bags from touching the ground. We carried the collection up the stairs thanks to an elevator malfunction. As I was running around backstage helping whomever when I was stopped dead in my tracks— right in front of me was Anna Wintour. Stunned and smiling, I stared at her in absolute shock and she gave me the warmest smile back. Despite the many models and details to be checked, I had too much adrenaline to even think about being tired. Once the girls lined up everything became so real and the magic happened. I stood near the entrance of the runway, making my experience even more surreal. Seeing the designs on the models gave me a sense of pride, I could only imagine how the designers felt. I really felt that I was part of the team.

Last but certainly not least was the Libertine show. The collection was full of bright colors with sparkly embellishments and neon fur. Being backstage gave me the opportunity to appreciate the clothing and see all of the details that would be hidden by the speed of the runway performance. The garments were truly works of art. Models were feeling their out-there looks and jamming to music while holding up big signs that they carried down the runway. Working amidst the backstage chaos was thrilling and the energy was insane at Libertine.

Written and photographed by Chloé Slazas.