WMCFW: Backstage style hacks with stylist Dwayne Kennedy

Shine On

To an unsuspecting audience, a runway show might appear near perfection.


The scene backstage is often hectic with lost shoes, zippers breaking and makeup being smeared on crisp white dresses that cost more than your yearly rent. Enter the wardrobe stylist, the behind-the-scenes fashion wizard you almost never see or hear about.

The stylist is part a team that assists the designer in creating a certain image or feel for the runway show. Beyond that, they also pull shoes and accessories and deal with all the mishaps that occur behind the scenes. Stressful much?

A look from Helder Diego Fall/Winter 2015

We went backstage at the Helder Diego show at World MasterCard Fashion Week to watch Dwayne Kennedy, stylist and fashion director at The Collections, work his magic. Between fielding any mishaps and making sure models were looking their best before hitting the runway, he managed to take some time to show us a few backstage style hacks for when things don’t go according to plan.

Backstage style hacks to keep in your back pocket

  • If you have makeup on and you’re preparing to put on a light coloured shirt, use a scarf to cover your face before slipping on the piece of clothing to avoid stains.
  • If a zipper gets stuck, rub some wax or a graphite pencil over it to loosen it up.
  • Double-sided tape is perfect for last minute hems and keeping collars in place.
  • Insoles are a model’s best friend (and yours too!), especially when the shoes are sky high
  • If a shoe is slightly too small, apply a little Vaseline to the foot and they’ll slide right in.
  • Stains will occur. Keep a Tide to Go stick on hand and remember to always blot the stain, never rub it.

What are your go-to style hacks? Let us know in the comments or by tweeting @YahooShineCA.