New York Fashion Week:: Backstage at J.Mendel


, established in russia back in 1870, is a top shelf design house with a strong reputation for evening as well as furs-- aka "my jam!"  the girlish makeup for the catwalk, sponsored by


, was dreamt up {+ executed to perfection} by the one-and-only

gucci westman


mentioned here

}.  to compliment the spring mix of color and pattern within the '13 collection, westman kept the makeup quite simple with contoured cheeks {using revlon's

new photoready bronzer

}, and nude lips {using the

colorburst lipgloss in 'bellini'

 and lipstick in 'private viewing' available january} -- which played up a "natural beauty" theme.

the hair story, designed by

mr. orlando pita


mentioned here

}, was swept off the face in a center part {using

this hydrating botanical cream via phytho

}, then styled into loose cascading waves and set with a workable hairspray.

for a classic meets modern look, manicurist

jin soon choi

chose a timeless nude color for the hands and paired it with something more unexpected & playful on the toes.  choi used

revlon nail enamel

in purple, pink, and bright red on the toes {depending on model skintone}.

this fashion week i found myself much more at ease, which allowed time to soak up "smaller moments" backstage;  i.e. a woman scratching the soles of never worn

manolo blahniks

with scissors {to prevent fashion roadkill}, an assistant carefully steaming a chiffon gown that's about to make her debut, or even the production crew feverishly assembling the stage. . .  count it all joy!

behind the scenes photos via

tulip louise

catwalk photos via

is it not just divine?  i must say that


was by far one of my favorite collections i saw this season-- the yummy prints, the delicate chiffon, the vibrant hues, the floral appliques, the dyed fur {magically made springy}, and the intricate tailoring... oh, the tailoring!

an unforgettably special moment was getting to snap the above photo of model

bette franke

backstage immediately after she walked the spring '13 finale dress!   

yours truly-