Backstage at Ziad Ghanem Spring Summer 2012

Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden
Ziad Ghanem is one of the seasons most anticipated shows because it is exactly that – a show! Discontent with the generic running of the catwalk, in his shows the runway becomes a theatrical performance, presented by a unique range of models. As the pre-show foyer bubbled with people waiting to witness the spectacular, I slip backstage to take a sneak peek at what they were about to witness.

As I walk into the dressing room I find head make-up artist, Michelle Webb, busy at work painting blue vein like lines onto the neck of one model. I squeeze past another model drenched in black lace and manage to grab a few moments with Michelle with to discuss the look she and her team have created.

What was your brief from the designer?

Well there are a lot of Russian influences and references to nuns in the collection. He wanted to keep everything quite pretty but still gothic and strong. So we tried to mix these two things together. He wanted it to be dark but happy.

What products were you using?

Make-up forever, paint, grease paint and HD foundation. We made a lot of our own lashes from card.

How do you go about achieving the look?
Well Ziad and I sit down in advance and go through the ideas and put face charts together. He then sorts out some sketches. We kind of work on the same wavelength, so what he likes inspires me. On the day itself it’s a really big team and a lot of hard work. Today we have painted on a lot of roses and a lot of dark and red. So there are roses and flowers with red and black eyes.

Around me models are being preened from every angle. Painted faces range from completely blacked out to detailed floral designs. Hairspray clouds the air and under a haze of hair products, I find Toni & Guy’s style director for the show. Jo Brown is seated for the first time in hours, but she manages to answer a few of my questions.

Where did the hair designs for tonight come from?
I was given a 24-page booklet on the SS collection with designs that he had drawn on. Their were specific shapes for each individual model.

How did you achieve the look he wanted?
Well each model had a specific look so it was designed by them. Some had Elvis quiffs, some were slicked back, others in a loose bun, some 40’s inspired. It was all dependent on what outfit they were wearing, there was no consistent look.

What products were needed to make all these deigns work?
Label M extra strong mist, wax, hairspray and frizz control serum.

Text: Samantha Farr 
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