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© 2017 | Purushu Arie

Walking the Ramp at Naturals Chennai Fashion Week

My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook profiles are buzzing with updates from Chennai Fashion Week that concluded last Sunday. I had this distinctive and exciting experience of concluding the show for Naturals Salon at Chennai Fashion week. Naturals Salon unveiled eight trendy hairstyles on the runway and I walked the ramp sporting one of their funky hairstyles. I can’t wait to share what it feels like to be momentarily in another world when all the eyes and cameras in the show area are targeting you. I have been a part of fashion weeks earlier in both Delhi and Mumbai as a blogger and buyer respectively, but this experience gave me a truly unique perspective, especially from backstage and behind the scenes. This article is aimed at giving a scoop on what it’s like to be backstage with celebrities, mingle with designers, editors and stylists and even watch shows from the front row.

WALKING THE RAMP

I personally felt bit nervous backstage just minutes prior to walking the ramp. However, the moment I set foot on the ramp, everything fell in place on its own. At the show area, it’s only the ramp that is illuminated with lights. Hence, from the runway all that you can see is the ramp itself and flashlights from camera since everything else appears dark. The best moment is definitely halting at the head ramp when you can see the paparazzi a bit more clearly. For a first timer, it definitely feels surreal. It happens so fast that you barely realise what happened but you know that it happened xD

PREPARAION WORK TIME VS ACTUAL SHOW TIME

Fashion weeks are the most important time of the year in fashion industry and everyone involved from the fashion designers to PR folks, pour their heart and soul into the event. I found out more than a week before that I’ll be teaming with Naturals to sport one of their trendy looks. The stylists at Naturals took a look at my hair and decided to go with a retro quiff front with layered highlights and undercut sides. Two days prior to the show, we spent an entire day over a photoshoot session with fellow models. The photos would eventually go into the show lookbook. On the big day, we arrived at the venue, Westin Chennai at least 6-7 hours prior to the show to get our hair and makeup done. And the final result of the weeks of preparation? 10-15 minutes show that you get to watch!

SPECIAL MENTION: HAIR STYLISTS & MAKE UP ARTISTS

The clothes are important but so is the makeup and hair! Everybody praises the wonderful designs displayed on the ramp but it was only when I spent time at the backstage did I realised the hard work and effort that the hairstylists and makeup artists put in to create the high fashion looks that we see on runway. The stylists literally stand all day, straightening the models hair, spraying and adjusting the fall of the hair strands, applying foundation and carefully concealing any kind of blemishes. The stylists from Naturals team who did the hair and makeup at Chennai Fashion Week were occupied all day styling the models, one show after the other. They literally need to squeeze out time to even have their lunch. Salute the dedication!

TIME TO BREAK THE ICE, MODELS ARE NOT COLD!

Yes, few people are rude and guess what… models are people too! The models I met were mostly friendly and sweet. For a fashion blogger who shared the greenroom and backstage with models who are fit and look stunning, it’s very easy to get slightly insecure and even intimidated. But the models were very warm and ensured that I was at ease. We’d talk about regular things that I’d talk to a friend, about work, about music, about the show, about the food… yes models, both female and male, eat!

AND THE CELEBRITIES…

Popular Telugu actor Allu Sirish walked into the backstage as he was concluding the Studio 9696 show that was scheduled immediately after the Naturals hairstyle show that I was walking for. Allu Sirish was patiently waiting there, just like every other model, interacting with a few and I even took this selfie with Allu Sirish and he was kind enough to acknowledge and post a comment on Instagram after the show! Immediately after the show concluded, I met the Queen of Tamil television industry, Dhivya Dharshini a.k.a DD. And then, there was former Miss India International, Rochelle Rao among others.

BE SURPRISED IF THE SHOW RUNS ON SCHEDULE

Probably the clothes aren’t steam pressed on time. If not the clothes, it’s probably the hair. If it’s not the hair, it’s probably the makeup. If not the makeup, it’s probably the rehearsals. And if everything did happen in time, it’s probably because the big shot who was supposed to grace the front row hasn’t arrived yet.

FROM THE FRONT ROW

The front row is not only the place where you get the best view of the garments but also where you meet who’s who of the industry. Apart from that, you’ll also have plenty of awkward eye contacts with people whose faces look familiar but you don’t know the person. Duh, you are in front row and several eyes are looking at you!

FROM BEHIND THE SCENES…

With the hairstylist in greenroom

 

Backstage with models and hairstylists
Backstage with the models
Telugu actor Allu Sirish in Studio 9696 creation, backstage at Chennai Fashion Week

 

With Allu Sirish
Backstage with Dhivya Dharshini a.k.a DD

 

Ramp view from front row

 

Models in Ritu Kumar creations
Final line up, Ritu Kumar at Chennai Fashion Week
Former Miss India International, Rochelle Maria Rao

 

Shilpa Jane, Sujo Mathew and Myself

 

Ace designer Sidney Sladen at Chennai Fashion Week
Started collecting these from my very first fashion show back in New Delhi. The latest addition: Chennai Fashion Week
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