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With Fashion Week fast approaching, the folks over at BCBG Max Azria and Hervé Léger by Max Azria are kicking it into high gear in preparation for both shows. We stopped by their showroom today to see how things were coming along, and found a lot of wet models inexplicably in suede shoes (it's raining pretty hard here in New York), learned what it's like to be in the gifting suite, and witnessed The Most Epic Starbucks Run, ever.
A shot from yesterday's casting. Images via BCBG Max Azria/Hervé Léger
2:32pm: Welp, it's definitely raining today. Just arrived here at the showroom, and there's several models sitting in red chairs with very wet hair. One of them is wearing a not-at-all weather conducive red velour jacket.
2:36: Christiaan Gunther is here, who has been described as Lubov Azria's right-hand man, and he says that everyone has decided to arrive all at once, and that at one point, things were organized. He says that each girl had been assigned with a look and Lubov rearranged some of it, so now they're just "gonna go with it."
2:38: Christiaan informs me that out of 60 girls, 20-25 have been picked. Turns out I am also sitting right in front of the model changing area so I may move my seat.
2:42: Christiaan is only speaking in a whisper. He is also wearing gold sneakers and is quickly becoming the most amazing man in the world. He says that today's big project is pairing shoes with the models because they currently don't have all of the pairs (as of now they have exactly 25). Lubov calls him and he jumps up and speeds away.
2:49: A model is walking around in a short terry-cloth bathrobe with a pair of slippers on, which looks like they were taken from a hotel, though I'm sure they are special BCBG Max Azria/Hervé Léger Fashion Week slippers.
2:56: I can't see Max and Lubov from where I'm sitting (still in front of the changing area) so the whole thing is a little bit Wizard of Oz.
2:59: Another model has arrived and she's wearing suede moccasins. Smart, because it's pouring. I hear her tell someone she's a size 39, which is obvs because aren't all models a size 39?
3:00: A list for Starbucks is going around. Can I get in on that? Mostly everyone is ordering things in "grande".
3:03: Hair and makeup tests are are possibly about to start, and now there's more models in robes. Two trays of O.P.I. nail polishes have also arrived in light pinks and creams, and there's also one dark green.
3:05: Four more models have arrived in the waiting area. All of them are blonde and all of them are in open-toe heels except for one of them, whose wearing loafers. The smartest of the models!
Inside the gifting suite
3:07: Now I'm inside the model gifting suite! I'm watching one of the girls pick out some clothes. So far, she likes a sheer turquoise dress (that she's tucking in and wearing as a shirt), a pair of leather shorts, and a silk gown. Plus, there's a Model Survival Kit tote bag, which includes, among other things, O.P.I. nail polish and the new BCBG Max Azria fragrance that's debuting on Fashion's Night Out.
3:18: Now I'm sitting in the lobby with the models instead of just hovering over them. Another girl arrives in sandals, and one in—OMG—sneakers. I also just heard Lubov say "No, no, no, no, no, no" to something. It also looks like hair and makeup has been pushed back.
3:31: There's a staffer trying on the nail polishes. She has one shade on each nail with a piece of paper on each finger naming the color. While she does that, the seamstresses in the sewing room next door are sewing away.
3:33: A model is showing Max Azria her book—moment of truth! He asks her to walk and I naturally hold my breath. He says, "Good." Now another model is walking. She gets a "very good" and then a "great," and it seems as though there's a world of difference now between the two adjectives.
3:36: The nail polish tester needs a second coat.
3:37: Both of the models have changed their shoes—one's in boots now and the other is in flip-flops. They put their books away and leave. Does this mean that "Very good" is not the same as "You're hired"?
3:39: Nail polish girl says, "Please tell me there's nail polish remover."
3:45: The Starbucks is here. Four trays full, and I hear two more are on their way.
3:46: A model is being brought to the gifting suite and is told she can pick one or two things. "Twooo?" she says.
3:49: I'm watching someone who is either an intern or brand new try and figure out who is who while distributing this coffee.
3:54: Christiaan comes back to tell me that they had planned this out so rigid and now it's very hectic, but he says it's nice to watch the show "become what it wants." And with those words of wisdom, I'm out.
· BCBG Max Azria [Official Site]
· Herve Leger [Official Site]
· All Fashion Week Coverage [Racked]