The Fashion Show: Behind the Seams

By  June 29, 2009

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We got a special backstage treat this morning—before the taping of Bravo’s The Fashion Show finale, we had a nice chat with celebrity stylist Jeanie Syfu (left), who heads the TRESemmé stylist team for the show. Proving her multitasking skills, Jeanie answered our hair queries while simultaneously helping out her team and deftly handling a model’s lovely locks.

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Glam: So whose look are you working on now?

Jeanie: This is one of Anna’s models. It’s a lot like how Anna actually wears her hair. This was her idea, actually. We’re going to give it some really loose waves with an inch curling iron, and then using the Thermal Creations Curl Activator Spray we’re going to do a side part with a few pieces framing the face and pull it over to the side into a loose bun. Some of them are getting flowers, so we’ll add little flowers into the bun afterwards.

G: That is a lot like how Anna wears her hair on the show. How integral are the makeup and the hair with the collections?

J: It totally completes the look. It plays a huge part in how it’s being shown on the runway, because it tells a story, and you can relate to what kind of girl’s going to wear the clothes when you see how it’s pulled together. I know Anna has a lot of dresses, and they’re really feminine and girly, which goes with the hair—the waves and the flowers.

G: And do the designers come to you with a very solid idea of what they want, or do you work with them a lot to develop the look?

J: I work with them a lot. For this particular show, I wasn’t allowed to see the collection, so it was all just described to me, and we came up with this. But usually the designers have a very strong point of view of how they want their models to look. This is obviously how Anna wears her hair, so she was very sure about how she wanted this to look.

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G: This is typical of the show then? You can’t see the collection beforehand?

J: Usually we can, but it’s just that this episode is all a secret, so I wasn’t really allowed to see. During the rest of the show, I saw the designs the day of, and then we would work on the look. But it’s the finale.

G: And do you have a favorite look that you’ve worked on for the show so far?

J: Hard to say, there were so many of them. There were a lot of really cool ideas happening, and all the designers brought something to the table. I really love doing a lot of Anna’s models, because her dresses were really pretty.

I remember doing a really cool one for the TRESemmé challenge for Tinsley Mortimer. I think it was Merlin’s model—we did this really big beehive, which was really cool. It had a lot of structure to it and I loved it.

I also liked the school cliques. There was the Goth look that we did, which is really similar to what we’re doing to Merlin’s models today—just a high ponytail, but the base is tied with ribbons so it almost sticks out. It’s really beautiful. That was probably my favorite challenge, the school cliques, because I really related to that. When I was in school I was kind of a skater girl, so that was fun.

G: Do Kelly and Isaac have input on the hair and makeup like they do on the clothes?

J: That’s all TRESemmé, that’s all us. So it’s really just between the designers and the stylists. And we come up with the look, but again, they always have a really strong idea of what they want. Because our time is so limited (we only have 20 minutes to get the hair done),sometimes what they asked for could not be done in the time.

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So then we would step in and say, well maybe we can do this, you know? Change it up a little bit and improvise, which is fun, because it keeps you on your toes and you’re thinking really quickly, which is the best part of what I do—it’s what I like to do. But usually the designers have a good idea of what they want.

G: So has time been a big issue then?

J: Time is always an issue. Always. Usually, like during Fashion Week, in a regular show, you have about 20 models and you’re given 4 hours to get everyone done. For this particular show, we have 60 models and 4 hours. We have a lot of time issues today. I think we’re doing well so far, but it’s too soon to say. You know how that goes.

The Fashion Show finale airs on Bravo on July 16th—be sure to tune in!

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