Countdown to Fashion Week: Model Castings and Packing Up

Fashion Week is officially days away; In our Countdown to Fashion Week, we examine what designers and insiders are working on this week.

All around New York City, fashion designers are in crunch time preparing to show their Fall 2012 collections to press and buyers during Fashion Week. Yesterday, Chris Benz worked on hair and makeup tests with Lancôme and TIGI Haircare in his eclectic Garment District design studio. Yigal Azrouel did the same with MAC Cosmetics and Bumble & Bumble. Meanwhile Christian Siriano finished up his model castings this past weekend over a span of two days. “I’m always a little nervous, but I think it’s going to be a great season,” he told us.

The final days before a designer's show come down to making last minute adjustments to garments and a lot of organizational work (for instance, who would think that packing up garments to get them to the show space would be such an ordeal?).

Since last Thursday, finished looks have been trickling into New York society favorite Dennis Basso's studio. He said, “I scrutinized every detail, and decided to add a bit more beadwork to a few of the gowns to give them an extra ounce of glamour for the runway.” Then it was on to model castings. “I reviewed loads of model headshots with my team. The girls I choose must embody the total package -- sexiness and confidence are a must.” Over the next few days, more finished looks will arrive and more fine-tuning will happen. Basso’s show happens at the Mercedes Benz Lincoln Center tents on February 14th.

Lubov Azria, Creative Director of BCBG Max Azria group, doesn’t have the luxury of showing later in the week. She is showing on the first day of fashion week at 10 a.m. She also has the Hervé Léger by Max Azria show to oversee, which will happen February 11th. "The days leading up to fashion week are a science experiment for fashionistas,” she told us.

Azria said she relies on her production team to get her through the final days. “I've worked with the same team for over a lifetime. They do everything related to runway, outside of making the clothes. They’ve mapped out minute-by-minute the New York schedule, from music meetings, hair and makeup tests, finalizing the cast, fittings, manicure tests, you name it, they’ve scheduled it. This runway schedule has everything but my bedtimes slotted in.”

Azria told us a surprising headache of the final days is getting the collection packed-up. “Packing-up the collection is more than anyone could imagine,” she said. “It’s like preparing for a trip for over 20 girls, where you know what they’re going to wear, but you still have to pack the backup outfits. But we have it down to a science. It's an assembly line from boxes to garment bags, shoe pads, tights, robes, lights, camera, and yes a lot of action.”

Just because it’s fashion week doesn’t mean life stops for Azria. She still says she has her daughter’s birthday to worry about and has to make sure her parents get to New York for her two shows.

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