Backstage with Sarah Laidlaw & Kenneth Stoddart

Hair & Makeup trials kicked off today for the 2019 Festival with Priceline Pharmacy setting the hair and beauty scene for each runway as the Official Hair and Beauty Partner. 

We caught up with Priceline Pharmacy Make Up Director Sarah LaidLaw & Hair Director Kenneth Stoddart to talk through their process for leading hair and beauty direction for Runway shows.

Here's what they had to say. 

Q: What is your process for creating looks for the runways?

SL: I look to the International shows and find the visual threads that run through the major fashion capitals as the shows unfold. By the end of the month of Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Paris & Milan, a series of makeup looks emerge as the strong trends coming through for the season. The cues are taken from there and I translate them into a form that works for VAMFF and for each of the individual shows. I work with the stylists and designers to create looks that suit what they’re presenting on their runway and then tweak the looks to suit each models colouring.

It’s a flurry of research, meetings, makeup trials, selecting hero products and briefings. Then on the day, a pre-show meeting with my team where I take them through the look in minute detail. The lead up is a mix of excitement, stress and creativity.

KS: Five months prior the festival we predict hair trends, which we work together with Priceline Pharmacy on. Then when it comes to show day, I have a strong team of hairstylists who assist me backstage and I run through each look on a demo model before the models arrive for hair and make up.  Once each girl is done, I check every one of them in my chair before allowing them to go and get dressed. We then allow 4 hairstylists to the dressing area to do final checks before the girls go down the runway.


Q: What kind of beauty looks can we expect to see at the Festival? 

SL: I don’t want to give too much away and spoil the fun… suffice to say, the majority of the makeup is bang on trend and some is a creative explosion of ideas. I think its safe to say there will be something for everyone.

KS: Androgyny and diversity is a huge trend this season therefore we will see masculine gelled silhouettes, many different types of curls, a return to volume with natural texture and even a sniff of ‘Ladylike’ simplicity.


Q: Which product do you use the most of backstage?

SL: The basics are always the most used products on the shows… Foundation, concealer, moisturiser, primer, makeup remover and lip balm. 

KS: I tend to use a lot of thickening/texturising sprays as well as gel.


Q: How will the looks embody this year's theme Power To The Dreamers?

SL: It's all about creativity and celebrating everyone's individual beauty and bringing that out with an element of high fashion. 

KS: The way I interpret that is, we as creatives- and this is not just hair and makeup, it's the people backstage, it's everyone that's involved in the Festival, are creative in some way or another, and the word diversity comes up again, where as a cumulative mass; we come together and create something quite amazing. It's about accepting diversity and people's creativity and allowing that to come to the forefront. 




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