Derek Lam

You know those amazing shows with the A-list models, front-row celebs and influencers clutching fancy swag bags while watching beautiful clothes being paraded down the runway? That public face of Fashion Week is one our beauty trend editor Kate Fannin rarely sees. No, she’s in the frenzy backstage, where all the real action is—ducking between clouds of hairspray and noting each flourish of the makeup artists’ brushes—all to see firsthand the freshest trends and hottest products for seasons to come.

Before she sets out for a week in the thick of it, she shares her pro tips on surviving the madness, who she’s excited to see and the little things that make it all worthwhile—and we’re taking note!

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The beauty look at Derek Lam’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show perfectly captured a new take on nude. What started out as a conceptual “no makeup look” evolved into a sophisticated, natural color palette of lavender, mauve and violet.


Tom Pecheux for M·A·C was inspired by the colors and quality of Lam’s materials used in his fashion; he brilliantly centered the makeup look around a violet eye, making it the perfect complement to his cool, textured, earthy tones. Using a lipstick called Violetta, he placed it on the eyelid with his finger and blended it up into the crease.


Eyeshadow in ‘Force of Nature’ (a slightly metallic, taupe-y mauve), was used on top of the lower eyelid only, playing off the creaminess of the lipstick and creating the perfect blend of a warm/cool neutral. Brown eyeliner and a coat of black mascara, followed by a coat of violet mascara just on the tips of the lashes, finished it off. Satin skin, a peachy pink cream blush and a nude peach lip completed this stunning new take on neutral.


Nails were polished and fresh, courtesy of JINsoon’s nude nail combination of Nostalgia, a semi-opaque rose-beige, and Muse, a sheer pink (the perfect combo to complement any and all skin tones!). A high-shine top coat left an overall effect that was finished yet understated.


Meanwhile, Orlando Pita for Phyto and T3 wanted the models’ hair to be textured and earthy. He created an off-center part after drying their hair and adding shine and moisture, then hair-sprayed around the ears and up. A do-rag was fitted just over the models’ heads, so the hair stayed flat throughout the prep and the strands kept their texture. A large-barrel curling iron was used to add imperfections and bumps at the end of the hair, which made the completed style “look good, but not overdone.”


Backstage Beauty: Derek Lam

Some say boys will be boys, but beauty boys will bring the glam, and this was precisely the case backstage at Derek Lam, where Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder and Orlando Pita for PHYTO and T3 created a smoky, sleek statement.

“Derek’s collection is strong, urban, ethnic-inspired with an emphasis on texture. The makeup look is strong, yet fluid, with pools of grey and green surrounding the eye. I was inspired by water, a lagoon, deep and cool,” said Pecheux, Estée Lauder’s Creative Makeup director, who is on his ninth consecutive season with the designer.

This translated into an extreme smoky eye that was described as more of a raccoon eye. Instead of black, Tom used shades of blue, green and grey to achieve this look.

Artist Tip: Coat the eye and fingers with powder first, as it helps absorb the oil for a better application.

Hair How-To: The inspiration behind the hair was multicultural, urban, and tribal. According to Orlando Pita, he was tasked to “make something simple look special.” This was achieved by creating a low ponytail with a middle part and lots of texture.

Get the look:
1) Spray PHYTO ‘Phytovolume Actif’ Volumizer Spray throughout the hair to give it texture and volume, then give it a gentle blow-dry with T3’s ‘Featherwieght Luxe 2i’ Dryer (healthier than air drying!).
2) For a loose wave in the hair, use a curling iron like the  T3 ‘BodyWaver’ Styling Iron from the ear level down to the ends.
3) Use a comb to create a more exact middle part.
4) Apply a glossing cream and sculpting gel for hold and shine, and then collect back into a low ponytail. Secure with elastic.
5) Tease ponytail to create texture and additional volume.
6) Finish with a light-hold hair spray.

Just Nail It: JINsoon creator Jin Soon Choi created a simple and classic nail that beautifully allowed the bold patterns and textures in the clothes to shine.

Re-create this fresh, polished and understated nail look:
1) Apply JINsoon Power & Base Coat to prep the nails.
2) To create warmth, apply one coat of JINsoon ‘Nostalgia’ Nail Lacquer.
3) Next, layer one coat of JINsoon ‘Muse’ Nail Lacquer for a warm and soft look.
4) Finish by applying a single coat of JINsoon Top Gloss & Coat.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.


The inspiration behind the hair for Derek Lam was “bohemian minimalism.” The hair mimics the collection; it contains texture but is not shaped.

Here is how hairstylist Orlando Pita achieved these boho waves:

Braid hair into 8 to 10 braids all over the head (more or fewer depending on hair thickness). Run the T3 SinglePass Flat Iron over the braids and let them sit to cool.

Unbraid and brush out the hair with slight back-teasing (frizz is OK). Finish by parting hair in the middle, then pin behind both ears.