Grace Lee and Jorge Joao: backstage magic at Toronto Fashion Week

November 12, 2012

By Julia Eskins

Photography By Aleyah Solomon, Javier Lovera and courtesy of Redken

From Oct.22 to Oct.26, style savvy eyes were on the World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto. Runways were set ablaze with head-to-toe glamour created by Canadian fashion designers, Maybelline Canada, Redken and their teams.

Throughout the five-day spring/summer 2013 showcase, notable beauty trends included low ponytails, bold lips, black eyeliner and dewy skin.

FAJO Magazine went backstage to chat with Grace Lee, lead make-up artist for Maybelline New York (Canada) and Jorge Joao, lead stylist for Redken.

Grace Lee

Grace Lee. Photo: Javier Lovera.

JULIA ESKINS: What is a typical day like for you backstage at World MasterCard Fashion Week?

GRACE LEE: Honestly, it’s an adrenaline rush. Even when the day’s over, I go back to my room and it’s really hard to calm down because there is so much stimulation. My body’s tired, but I can’t shut down my mind.

What are the key trends this spring?

Definitely a bold lip. Joe Fresh, Lucian Matis, Arthur Mendonça, Evan Biddell – they all did it in their shows. Everyone wants a version of red, whether it’s a little bit more orange or fuchsia. I would say they all want that dewy skin. Those are the two main trends that are screaming out at me.

Also pastels, like Easter egg eyes. We did a weird purple lip on SOÏA & KYO and it looked beautiful with the Easter egg colour leathers.

What is the process like collaborating with the designer before the show?

Sometimes the designer will say, ‘This is what I want. I’m sticking to the vision. And that’s it.’ There are other designers who let you do whatever you want, like [Sunny Fong] for VAWKKIN. Sunny and I have a relationship, and he trusts me. The VAWK look is a little bit more grown up and expensive. That is really about a strong liner. He told me that he really wanted it to look like 90s Madonna in Express Yourself. It’s very strong, but beautiful. We’re doing eyeliner, lashes, contouring and a nude lip.

With the VAWKKIN look, he told me that there are a lot of white and black pieces. He wanted the look to be a bit more edgy. I am renovating my basement and I saw this electrical tape and thought, ‘That needs to go on the face somehow!’ So I was cutting it up, and I called him and said, ‘I’m going to do this and it’s going to look amazing.’ To recreate the look, you can use silver eyeliner and mascara.

What contouring technique are you using?

We’re making sure that we’re carving right under the cheekbone to give the skin more shape. Highlighting is key as well.

What would you say is the essential beauty product to have this winter?

A very dark berry lip, like an Oxblood red. It looks more fashionable when you go really dark and dramatic. It’s a little more daring, but still wearable.

Jorge Joao

Jorge Joao. Photo courtesy of Redken.

JULIA ESKINS: What was the inspiration behind the look you created for Joe Fresh?

JORGE JOAO: We wanted to go with a ponytail but, at the same time, change it up a bit. Just like the Joe Fresh line, it’s simple, but has a nice twist. We gave it that vintage feel by loosening it up and giving a bit of the ‘sloping’ look around the ear. We also added some texture with flyaways, to make it a bit more modern and fashionable. It complements the line well and relates to the consumer.

What do you think are the biggest hair trends for 2013?

I think people are now embracing their natural texture. They don’t want to spend an hour or two in front of the mirror. You’ll see a lot of people working with their natural waves and curls. You can have beautiful hair by using the right product and not putting that much mechanical work into it.

Going into the colder weather, what hair care product would you recommend?

Definitely anything with moisture. Nowadays there are moisturizing masks. It’s about starting with a good shampoo and conditioner from a professional line that has the science behind it to take care of you hair. Sometimes people don’t want to spend the money, but it’s really worth it. Moisturizing treatments will get you through the winter. Just like chapstick or moisturizing your skin, the same is needed to take care of your hair.

What’s your favourite look that you’ve created this week?

I have a couple! Rachel Sin was pretty cool, we went pretty detailed with that.

We’ve had a couple of crazy ones. Some have been doing beehives with texture, artificial hair pieces and we’ve had some very simple ones with subtle detailing. It ranges from one scale to the other. Honestly, they all bring something unique to the table. You work with a designer and they inspire you to look at something differently.

Grace and Jorge at World MasterCard Fashion Week

Photography by Aleyah Solomon

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  • what is a fashion designer said:


    Fashion design is a challenging, yet rewarding, job option. Designers are faced with many decisions every season, including fabric selection, color picking and trend consideration. A good designer has to mesh all of these things together in order to make a line that will sell to buyers and consumers alike. Too many misses or one bad collection can be the end of a career.
    Designers also have to think of esoteric things like political statements or social movements. For instance, many designers will not design things with real fur, due to possible political fallout. Others will create more sober collections in times of economic downturn.
    What Is a Fashion Designer? |

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