When I arrived at the Studio tent at Lincoln Center I was so happy to see the same wonderful team of make-up artists from Kryolan. Working with Dominic Cruz and all the girls was so much fun at the Noon by Noor show. Today they were going to work with a vibrant and dramatic palette which focused heavily on the eyes and lips. Getting to photograph the duo tone eyes with the false lashes on the top and bottom was a dream. Their lips were in a fantastic glossy shade of deep pink that made them look absolutely luscious!
While I was in the tent capturing the behind the scenes images, the designer, Joanna Mastroianni came in to have Dominic apply her make up. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind me getting a few shots of her on the make-up stool, and she said, “Of course, just be sure to get my good side!” Frankly, Joanna didn’t have a bad side to shoot. She was always smiling and looking radiant. After getting her lips done to perfection by Dominic, she gave me a little shoulder squeeze of a hug. I couldn’t believe it! As the day went by, I came to realize that is just who Joanna Mastroianni is. She is incredibly sweet and personal. She spoke to every single model individually like they were genuinely her friends and gave them little hugs too. The palpable air of sweetness wasn’t limited to Joanna at this show. While most people usually just think of models as being pretty on the outside, these girls were pretty on in the inside as well. They were all super polite and so nice, and even funny! I spent the most time with Elena, Svetlana Siforova, and Alessandra Pozzi. Elena shared shots with me on her iPad of previous shows she’s been in that week while the Kryolan team applied her foundation. Svetlana, who goes to Fordham University, was hilarious and had all the models and make-up artists laughing. Svetlana and Alessandra were caught eating cookies by Fashion News Live who was happy to dispel the myth that models don’t eat.
Soon it was time for rehearsal. Here the girls go out as is to the runway to do a dry run. Some of the girls had their hair and make-up all finished, while others had hair teased to the high heavens mid styling. One of the models showed that somehow they can pull just about anything off. As I was going through my shots from the rehearsal I said to myself, oh I love her neck shawl. Then I looked closer, it was just a grey sweatshirt that she had somehow draped elegantly around her neck. If I tried the same look, I guarantee I’d look like a fool, but on her, she looked totally chic. After the rehearsal it was time to go back and get the finishing touches done to their hair and makeup. Once the looks were completed I’d get to do a little mini beauty shoot with them. I was once again in heaven. I loved it when Elena flashed me a huge smile (a rare pose for models it seems!) and when Svetlana showcased her eye shadow to perfection. It was beyond fun, and I felt like I was making real editorial art. The models and Kryolan loved the previews on the back of the camera, so I was super happy.
Then before I could even blink it was time for the show to begin. I made my way out to the pit and got myself all situated. Needless to say I had a bit less adrenaline going than during my first show a few days prior. I felt ready to go and excited rather than nervous. I was on the first tier of the riser again, and Richard Renda was basically in my lap. The lights went down and then they came back on to bring forth a collection full of vibrant colors that I would describe the same way I would describe Joanna, happy, vibrant, and sweet, with just a hint of edge. Each piece that came out put a smile on your face. My favorite was a short black and white, a-line halter dress. I couldn’t help myself, as it came out I just let out “BEAUTIFUL!”, and it really was beautiful. I loved all the different collar details as well and upon seeing the pieces understood why she was so particular when speaking with Edward Tricomi, founder and co-owner of Warren-Tricomi salons, about most of the girls’ getting their hair up for the show. The digital prints of floral photographs were stunning. When the model wearing the simple long black dress and floral cape turned around to reveal the beautiful red hibiscus everyone in the audience oohed and ahhed. Joanna also had some very creative accessories for the girls including extended fabric cuffs that matched the dresses. I can totally see girls rocking these next year. Towards the end of the show, Elena wore a beautiful flowing dress that had fabric cuffs that attached to its train. When she got to the end of the runway she posed in many unique ways to show off the extraordinary movement that resulted from the cuff-train design. It was spectacular.
The show ended with one of the models bringing out the Mastroiannis’ dog, Natasha. Natasha was in the designer’s husband’s arms for most of the day so all the models had gotten to know her. Even though she only came out on the runway once, Natasha definitely became the most popular girl in the show. After the finale Joanna came out and triumphantly lifted her arms, and then came out further and motioned to her husband, who was running the show from the front row at the end of the runway, and put her hand to her heart. Like everything I’d experienced with Joanna that day, it was incredibly touching and sweet. After the show I was putting away my gear backstage, the high school student volunteers cleaned up the preparation room. (Side note: being a volunteer at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City as a high school girl seriously has to be a complete DREAM!) Joanna walked into the preparation room and thanked the volunteers for all their hard work. This last sweet act once again showed me without a doubt that Joanna Mastroianni may create absolutely beautiful clothes, but they pale in comparison to how beautiful she is as a person.