FashionRunway

5 #NYFW Insiders Tell Us How They Survive The Busiest Week of The Year  

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New York Fashion Week officially kicks off this Thursday, and while we can expect another season of gorgeous ready-to-wear, shoes, bags, and baubles, we also know there will be plenty of taxi cab chasing, aching feet, and lost invitations along the way. Thus, we turned to the ultimate insiders: designer Sophie Theallet, Moda Operandi cofounder Lauren Santo Domingo, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, hair stylist Odile Gilbert, and model Bhumika Arora to find out what keeps them sane during the shows.

Sophie Theallet, Designer

I always have Evian Spray Water —it keeps you hydrated. As a French woman, you must use it. You put it on as babies and grow up with it. I keep my Imperial Smoke E. Cigarettes and Nicotine Organic Menthol by Virgin Vapor Menthol Refill around so I’m nicer with my assistant. A swipe of red lipstick, usually Nars Jungle Red, and I’m ready to go to the studio. When I’m working, I love the smell of Heliotrope Blanc perfume. You put it on your hand and instantly feel fresh. I also need to have cold white wine in the fridge. It’s very good to have around when you are working. Not a whole bottle, though, that will put me asleep. I have a ritual of listening to the show music before going to the venue, all the emotion and the stress of the collection gets out. I also use the app Headspace for meditation. It helps me relax even when I go to bed very late. 

My uniform is a black jeans, J. Brand or old Levi’s, a black t-shirt and black cardigan. It’s like a blank canvas for me to just think about the collection. I wear a lot of high heels, my own or Alaia. I’m not running around a lot in the fashion district, just from the studio to the party, so I have a car. For jewelry, I keep my Tibetan monk beads close, and I always wear my grandmother’s jewelry around my neck. My favorite thing, though, is the necklace my husband and son gave to me.

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Lauren Santo Domingo, Moda Operandi CoFounder

‪Fashion Week can be chaotic, but I always welcome it.  ‪Not many people have the opportunity to work and travel with their best friends and for that I am so grateful. I never run myself ragged, as soon as I become bored, I stop. I still get as excited about the collections as ever. ‪For me, Fashion Week has become more than just seeing clothes on a runway, over the past few years it has become part of my business.

A great blow out and a facial is the perfect pairing. I don’t take long to get ready, particularly if I make both appointments. For blowouts, I’ll go anywhere that will take me as I rarely plan in advance. For facials, Georgia Louise, always. Early show? A strong cappuccino does the trick. If not, a shot of color– a red lip in Sisley’s Rouge Passion. Speaking of cappuccinos, I can’t make decisions without them, I take mine paired with breakfast with my children. My local favorite is 71 Irving. When I’m on the Upper East Side, it’s Via Quadronno (and a croissant to go.) My phone is almost always in the red, so…Mophe.

In the car, I am either answering emails, reviewing shows on our Moda Operandi app (and building my wish list for the trunkshow launch) or pinning on Pinterest. Normally, it’s a combination of the three.

As for fashion, YSL makes the high-waisted, chicest mom jeans in town, and for shoes, it’s a toss up between a Tabitha SimmonsAquazzara, and Paul Andrew, all have charmed me into many a heel, mule, flat, and boot. And all are dear friends.

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Charlotte Tilbury, Makeup Artist

I always carry lots of homeopathic drops and Vitamin C to boost my immune system and keep energy levels high, which is essential during Fashion Week. I have a bottle of lemon water to cleanse and hydrate. I never go anywhere without my miracle working moisturizer, Magic Cream. It floods the skin with moisture and turns around even the most dry, dehydrated, and dull skin. I call it a push-up bra in a jar! I’m always testing new products, so I usually have a few lab samples and my makeup bag, of course. Naturally, I use my own makeup products and I love The Dolce Vita look from my collection. The molten bronze, copper, and chocolate palette makes my green eyes pop. I finish with my signature Feline Flick to elongate, define, and lengthen—essential for youth-boosting the eyes when you’re fighting Fashion Week exhaustion! 

I always have my iPhone with me and I’ll try and go through emails during any breaks. Since I launched my brand, I need to be on all the time. The brand can happen anywhere—I keep up to date even on shoots via email, long phone calls, and Skype! If there’s a will there’s a way! Some of the most productive decisions I’ve ever made have been in airports, via my mobile! I’m obsessed with Instagram—you can tell the full story: this is the product; this is what’s in it; the inspiration; the campaign; behind the scenes on a shoot and show; my life! It allows me to develop a deeper relationship with my consumer. 

I stick to my favorite styles, cuts and designers for fashion—what I know works for my body shape; a pencil skirt, or fitted knee length dress, usually Dolce & Gabbana, Alaia, Tom Ford, Temperley London, Allessandro Dell’aqua, Wolford tights and a pair of killer stilettos. I live in high heels—if I wear flats, my personality feels flat too! Tom Ford also told me that when women wear stilettos, we naturally adapt our posture to be that of a classic mating position—curves are pronounced and legs are tall and muscular. I often say that high heels and dancing are my only form of exercise! I always carry around a picture of my husband and I that was taken at the launch of my brand. We took it together in a photo booth and he made it into a Polaroid and wrote “I love you” on it.

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Odile Gilbert, Hair Stylist

During Fashion Week, I of course keep hair product in my bag. My must-haves are Kérastase Powder Bluff (dry shampoo), Moroccanoil Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner and Crčme de Coiffage, as well as Kenra Platinum Texturizing Taffy.  I always try to be ready for an emergency—it is super important for me to carry all of the products from Kérastase, Moroccanoil and Kenra, as well as brushes in my big bag. As far as styling tools go, I have curling irons in literally every size and a blow dryer. I also have a lot of different brushes, combs, and scissors from Japan. I always bring Mason Pearson Brushes—they are so chic. I like to be prepared with multiple products and tools because you never know if you will be curling or making the hair straight or crimped—it’s all up to the designers at each show.

Aside from my go to haircare products, I always carry perfume from Alaia. This was a present from Mr. Alaia himself. I also love to have some face cream on hand, as well as my phone and a bottle of water.  I always make sure to bring my iPad, as well, so I can post photos to Instagram.  

For the shows, I try to dress comfortably, but still fashionable. I love to wear jeans, and of course Alaia leggings. I am lucky to get presents from different designers, so I wear Rodarte, The Row, Joseph Altuzarra, Jason Wu, Suno, Zac Posen, and Thakoon. For shoes, I wear suede ballerina flats from Repetto—I have these in multiple colors. These are the easiest option because I am running all over the city and I don’t want any drivers to be waiting on me—so I have to be on time!  

Bhumika Arora, Model

I always carry high heels because that’s the most important for castings, hand cream because I can’t bear dry hands, perfume because it helps me feel fresh all day, hand sanitizer, Smartwater, mini KIND energy bars, a bunch of Goody StayPut rubber bands (again, very important for castings), and a power bank to charge my phone— that has become one of the necessities during this hectic week! I have my iPhone 6 on hand and another iPhone 4s to keep my India number working.  The apps I use most often are Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Viber, Boss Revolution, YouTube, Citymapper, Yelp, NYC Way, Google Maps, and Hungama, I change the rest constantly. Social media apps keep me occupied whenever I’m waiting around during castings or shows, and having plenty of mapping apps prevents me from getting lost!

It’s so hot that I can hardly think of wearing skinny jeans, so my fashion week uniform will mostly be shorts or skirts with causal tops. My current wardrobe is mostly all black. I run around in sneakers because they are most comfortable when I need to travel to somewhere quick!

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