My alarm that morning went off at 5:30AM, but I had woken up many times throughout the night out of sheer excitement. Today was the day I’d be shooting my first show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City. I wanted to get there early since it was the same morning as the Project Runway finale and figured the place would be a mad house. After getting out of the subway at Lincoln Center I was greeted by billboards everywhere for the event and an abundance of signs directing me towards “Fashion Heaven”. I ended up getting there 45 minutes before call began, but it was great because I was able to get to know the make-up artists for Kryolan Professional Make-Up. Kryolan was one of the sponsors of the Noon by Noor show I’d be shooting that day, and was the client I’d be shooting for. After entering the tent with Kristen and Marla from Bella PR, People’s Revolution handed me my coveted back stage credentials for the Noon by Noor show. I couldn’t help myself, I had to snap a shot on my phone to post to facebook, I was REALLY THERE!
While behind the scenes I captured shots of the girls getting ready as well as some shots of the Kryolan products. It was great to get to do a combination of photojournalistic coverage and traditional beauty shots. I even used some of my rather unorthodox PJ wedding photography techniques, like standing on a chair and taking a wide angle shot from above to capture the whole scene. I got a real kick out of seeing almost every photographer in the room trying to balance on a chair to get the same shot after they saw me do it. Most of the time the models just looked straight forward as they were done up, but a few of them started to give me a few poses. I can only imagine how wide my smile must have been behind the camera when they started to do this. Dominic Cruz, Kryolan’s key makeup artist, along with their team of girls did a fantastic job of getting the girls in full make up in record time.
Since we had plenty of time before the show started I got to fulfill one of my biggest dreams as a photographer. There I was, Vail Fucci, wedding photographer from Boston, getting to do a beauty shoot with world class models for a professional make-up line. I set up my soft box and tried to remember all of Matthew Jordan Smith’s suggestions for beauty shoots. Then the girls sat down for me…yes ME! They were posing for ME, my shots! Just WOW! It took all my strength to hold back my tears of joy. With each click of the shutter I gained more confidence. I started to not only shoot whatever poses they gave me, but asked them for things like more intensity, or a tip of the head in a particular direction, and they did it! At that moment I am positive I was the happiest person on earth. The models looked absolutely radiant. To compliment the line’s fresh takes on classic shapes like brocade biker jackets, silk chiffon t-shirts, bronze metallic shorts and metallic jacquard suiting, Dominic created a subtle makeup look that was natural yet polished and sophisticated – a “grown up bare face.”
Then it was time for the show to begin. I had the privilege of shooting from the front riser since Kryolan was one of the sponsors. I didn’t know how it would all go since it was my first show. Would it be a hush when the house lights went down? Nope, quite the opposite. It sounded like a bunch of fans at a concert ready for it to begin. From the blackness emerged the Noon by Noor backdrop in a deep red which softened to a shade of pink for the rest of the show. The lights came on and it was bright as day inside Lincoln Center. The clothes were fantastic and the girls’ makeup gave them a glistening and ethereal dewy appearance. Most of the girls kept a straight face during their walks down the runway, but one of the girls who had lots of fun posing for me earlier flashed me a little smile when she got to the end of the runway. My heart skipped a beat.
My favorite look of the show was the finale dress. The fabric billowed and flowed like they had a wind machine on the model, but that was just the natural movement of the garment. It was remarkable. Even though I was there mostly to capture the make-up, I had to grab a shot of this extraordinary dress in motion. Sisters Noor and Haya Al Khalifa should be commended for their stunning design.
Update: I was thrilled when the head of Noon by Noor’s PR team emailed to find out if they could use my images for editorial use. My answer of course was yes. Here are a few of the spots they used them for.
“One of our favorites on the runway” “Spring/Summer 2013 – A Closer Look”