Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Behind the Scenes at the 2012 World's Largest Fashion Show at Galeries Lafayette in Paris.


How do you go from being just another girl on the metro in the morning to a glamorous model walking down the runway in front of throngs of cheering people in the evening?

Step 1: Choose from one of four themes (City Slicker, Tea Time, Cocktail Time and Night Owl) and submit your application for the World's Largest Fashion Show organized by Galeries Lafayette in Paris.

Step 2: Receive an email from Galeries Lafayette for a casting call in front of a panel of experts, including the casting director, the Deputy Chief Editor of Glamour Magazine, a make-up stylist, a hair stylist, Galeries Lafayette's fashion experts and two fashion bloggers.

Step 3: Bedazzle the panel and join 400 other people at the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild on September 18, 2012 for one of the most thrilling days of your life.


9:00 am: The arrival of the lucky participants is staggered according to their chosen look. The City Slickers are the first on the scene in over-sized jackets, flat caps and trench coats followed by Tea Time models in prints with a touch of fur or embroidery to create a fusion of luxury and pop art. As all of the models are wearing their own clothes, it's fascinating to see the outfits that they've selected for the big day. Those who are in the Cocktail Time category shimmer in silks and satins, while the Night Owls in leather and lace are all about drama and mystery.


Makeup: 50 professional makeup artists from Guerlain and StudioMakeUp are on hand to work their magic on the participants. A bit of blush, a dab of lipstick and lots of dramatic color above her eyebrows completely transformed this young woman.


Hair: Eric Bachelet, an Ambassador for L'Oreal Professional and a celebrity hair stylist who travels between Paris and Los Angeles, was one of the 50 talented hairstylists teasing the tresses of the participants. If Eric looks familiar, it's because he also made an appearance in my post about Fashion Night Out in Paris.


Lunchtime: Even models get hungry and need to eat! Lunch was a sandwich, cake and a bottle of water.

Training: If you ever thought that it's easy to be a runway model, think again. Fortunately, the participants were in the competent hands of Ludmila Mikhailova, the owner of Trend and Tendance, who is renowned for coaching successful models. Microphone in hand, she instructed the participants to walk to the rhythm of the music, take large steps and keep their eyes on the horizon rather than the photographers or their friends. But most importantly, Ludmila stressed that each of models were stars even as she encouraged the men to stride not swagger down the runway. 


4:00 pm: With only three more hours to go, the 400 participants are assembled and put in the order that they will appear on stage.


5:00 pm: Stomachs churning and feeling slightly nervous, models gather in the lobby of the Hotel Salomon de Rothschild as groups are called to board the buses that will take them to Galeries Lafayette.


Bus ride: The atmosphere is solemn as the participants snap photos of each other with their cell phones and discuss the items in their goodie bags.


6:00 pm: A large crew is hard at work transforming Rue Gluck into a shimmering catwalk.


6:50 pm: Spectators gather in front of Galeries Lafayette to see the third edition of the World's Largest Fashion Show.


Almost 7:00 pm: Stars and fashion industry professionals are in prime positions to admire the models as they strut their stuff.



7:00 pm: Showtime. Congratulations to all of the models. Each and every one of you shone like stars last night! 

Many thanks to Galeries Lafayette for allowing me to take behind-the-scenes photos. Your entire team was warm and welcoming. 

In tomorrow's post, I'll introduce you to a couple of the models whom I met. In the meantime, I'll upload some more photos in an album on Out and About's facebook page.


All too soon, the magical day was over. It vanished like the hairspray that the stylists spritzed in the air when they made their appearance on stage at the end of the show.

21 comments:

  1. I was a part of it, girl with a feather headpiece and sequin back black dress. It was a lot of fun but such a long day ! I presented myself to auditions just to get to show my own creations to the public in a friendly and dynamic atmosphere. Well done to the amazing hairstylists (Mike DESIR) and the make up artists for such brilliant displays of talent

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    1. Hi Roxanne, I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like to be one of the models. I was exhausted by the time I got home but didn't have to deal with all of the emotions, etc. of going onstage! Good luck with your creations. I tried to see if I could locate you in my photos but I'm not sure if I found you. I also posted some pictures on facebook. Please let me know if you see any of yourself.

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  2. Fantastic peek behind the scene and in front of the crowd, MK... Job well done by all. Kudos for a great post.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. It was another unbelievable day in Paris!

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  3. I love the photo of the girls and guys on the bench, gorgeous! None of these people are professional models? It's a shame there's not a bit more diversity in terms of body types or ages (as far as I can see).

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    1. Some of the participants told me they're professional models but most of them seemed to be regular people. Sorry that this post misrepresented the diversity of the models. I hope that you'll read today's blogpost - "Shattering Stereotypes" - because the panel did an admirable job of selecting people of different shapes, sizes and ages. I guess that they're also limited by who submits an application because I can imagine that some people wouldn't apply because they think that they're too short, old, etc.

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  4. Wow, I loved your coverage last year, but you really outdid yourself this time! I love the behind-the-scenes glimpse at the make-up and hairstyling. I especially love the dramatic "night owl" look. The artists and models did a terrific job.

    I like your Facebook page, too. You're really utilizing a variety of social media . Good for you!

    Gwan, I watched some of the video and spotted a couple of girls on the curvier side, a few middle-aged people, and an elegant silver-haired woman who looked to be about 60.

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    1. Seeing the stylists and makeup artists at work was amazing. They're so talented! But what really, really impressed me was the transformation of the models. After following some of them through all of the steps (hair, makeup, model school), I was so proud of them when they walked down the catwalk with such confidence and style.

      I wish that I could tell the 65 year old woman that you guessed her age to be 60!

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  5. woaw.... what a delirious post this is! MK; you're really MY personal Paris-informant - you cover all the events I would like to know about but can't - so very, very well done love.
    this is probably as interesting as it can get and your 'inside' infos and the great shots are all I need to know!
    thank you, thank you - you are MY star!!!
    ***** :)
    Kiki, gros bisous

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    1. Oh, Kiki - you're such a sweetheart! If I wasn't giddy after the fashion show, I am now with all of your compliments. Thank you!

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  6. Smashing post! Really great to see non professional model but agree with Gean. Would like more diversity in size, age and shape.

    Really enjoyed the behind the scenes pictures. Well done to the models. They must have been SI nervous with that audience.

    Love Denise

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    1. My apologies for deceiving Gwan and you. I have to admit that I saved the "best" models for today and deliberately didn't post any photos of them yesterday. The 65 year old woman reminded me of you, Denise. She obviously knew what she wanted and wasn't going to let age stand in the way of living life to the fullest.

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  7. Great post and wonderfully informative Mary Kay. I too particularly like the shot of the models on the bench having lunch.

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    1. Once again, Baron, you have commented about one of my favorite photos of the 200+ that I took during the day. I was so pleased to have snapped the picture of them at exactly the right moment to capture the expressions on their faces.

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  8. Oh I so so so LOVE this post! Turns out last year was just the appetizer for this truly wonderful, oh so delicious, favorite fashion feast. Can't wait to see more with these lovely fashionista strutters.
    Thank you, Mary Kay, for bringing smack in the center of it all.
    Dekage

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    1. You're welcome, Dekage. I'm just really thankful that Galeries Lafayette gave me the opportunity to go behind-the-scenes. It would have been really difficult to get good photos if I would have been in the middle of the crowd. It was huge!

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  9. How did you get such behind the scene shots? So cool! Did you have special access? Of course you did, you are Out and About in Paris!!

    So I didn't know these models were just girls who submitted their photo. I love that they were Cinderella for the day! I think Finding Noon's daughter should do it next year! She'd look fierce!!

    Like I said in my tweet, I love these photos!! You captured the excitement of a fashion show! Bravo!

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    1. Or perhaps it's something that Mlle Ella Coquine should do next year! You could celebrate your 4 year Francoversary on the catwalk with Seb. There were some couples who went down the runway together. Just an idea...but I think that you would love the experience.

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  10. Hooray, over the knee socks are back. I love those!

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