Backstage At Maiyet SS14, Paris Fashion Week
I was lucky enough to be invited backstage for the Maiyet SS14 show by Kure BAZAAR, who were sponsoring nails. The show was held at Des-Beaux Arts, a magnificent old building on the left bank of Paris, just across the Seine from the Louvre. See my article Paris Fashion Week Saturday: What I Wore, to find out what I wore for the show.
It was a muggy warm day in Paris on Saturday and in between the intermittent rain, it was great walking weather. So I took a stroll along the left bank, down from my hotel (the San Regis) which was just off the Champs-Elysee, to get to the Des-Beaux Arts venue, which took about half an hour.
Arriving at Des-Beaux Arts about an hour before start-time (on the Paris Fashion Week schedule for 8pm), I saw the models rehearsing a walk-through for the show in the beautiful 17th Century venue, crumbling and atmospheric with smoky mist surrounding a wooded courtyard.
Seating was structured around the four walls of the courtyard space and models strided back and forth across the stone mosaic floors. This ended with the finale of them crossing into the central courtyard, where rain was at that point cascading down. Very poetic!
After watching the rehearsal, I headed backstage – probably the most magnificent Fashion Week backstage area I’ve ever seen.
Surrounded by artwork and paintings, which lined the high walls, with ancient stone tombs, huge figurine sculptures and statues, the juxtaposition with the modern make-up tables – heaving with product, bustling stylists and nail technicians – was fantastic.
Alongside having a behind-the-scenes glimpse of a Paris Fashion Week show, I was able to interview nail legend Marian Newman. Described by Tatler as: “Marian Newman is to nails what Karl Lagerfeld is to frocks.” Marian was heading up the nail look for the show, with a team of technicians, and she was using products from Kure BAZAAR.
I asked her about the look for the show and how she created it. Marian explained: “The collection is very pale and floaty with metallic fabrics and sheer, so I wanted something delicate but not too stark for the nails. I used a pale off-white base coat, beige coat then a metallic shimmer over the top. I wanted it to look as if the shimmering metallic was floating over the solid colour.”
Marian is working at seven shows during Paris Fashion Week including Vivienne Westwood, Gareth Pugh, Alexander McQueen and Louis Vuitton. Her first SS14 show was the Marc Jacobs show in New York, which she said was based on Hurricane Katrina with dark chocolate nails. At Westwood, she worked on “distressed, archaeological nails” using MAC products but at Gareth Pugh she said the look was long, talon rubber nails, which she created at home and glued to the models’ nails ahead of the show.
Marian said the look for Spring/Summer ’14 nails is “all or nothing”, but added “nudes are always chic and you can never go wrong with them.”
Kure varnishes use 85% natural ingredients, such as wood pulp and potato starch, so they’re very much a ‘green’ nail brand. They gave me a sneak preview of three new colours they’re launching next month – I love the green!
Talking more with Marian, she has worked with the best names in the industry, so I asked her who has been her most memorable. She told me: “Working with Alexander McQueen was amazing, I worked on his ever last show. In fact, the first ever show I did was with Alexander McQueen at Givenchy in the late 1990’s, I created 12 inch spiral nails. I also adore Gareth Pugh – he’s a British designer and a genius. It’s amazing, how he’s stayed true to himself. ”
Next up was the show itself, running late as standard, I scurried front of house to try and find a spot to squeeze myself in. Unless you’re sat front row, a seat’s not always the best place for a blogger as it’s difficult to take photos with too many heads in front of you. I ended up kneeling on the floor at the end of one of the rows, legs tucked under my skirt to try and squeeze in further. Oh, the glamour!
The Maiyet SS14 collection itself was absolutely beautiful, full of sheer pieces in stunning flowing fabrics – my favourite was a long, white billowing maxi-dress with a clean, utilitarian feel.
I also loved the shoes, with their chunky, transparent Perspex heels.
Maiyet is a stunning label, created by former human rights lawyer Paul van Zyl and co-founder Kristy Caylor, it supports niche artisans in Kenya, India, Peru and Colombia and is available on Net-a-Porter.com.
To discover more about the brand, check out this article on The Telegraph ‘Meet the masterminds behind Maiyet.’
After the show, I headed backstage with the team to enjoy a glass of Champagne!
Keep posted for more Paris Fashion Week news tomorrow…
Emily @FashionBite xx