The West

Model Gemma Bidstrup gets her make-up done before the show. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

It was a flurry of activity backstage ahead of the Perth Fashion Festival VIP opening event last night.

Twenty models and 10 make-up artists, 16 hair stylists and countless backstage crew frantically banded together ahead of One Fell Swoop's runway show.

Dashing between two separate backstage areas at the Perth Town Hall, the models spent four hours being primped and preened for the catwalk.

Before being decked out in the 40 looks from design duo Daniel Romanin and Nikolina Ergic's most ambitious show yet, the models, including 2001 face of the festival Gemma Bidstrup and 2010 Australia's Next Top Model contestant Jessica Moloney were given a whimsical hair and make-up overhaul.

Bev Wood - the owner of make-up sponsor Lauren Wood - was behind the creation of the look.

"They wanted something very, very simple, natural and pretty-looking so there's absolutely no foundation base on, it's more concentrating on the eye area," she told AAA.

"We wanted to create that real natural earthy sort of feel so we've got eye shadow on the cheeks with that pollen sort of look on the cheeks.

"We're looking to create that pretty, soft, feminine look which is what One Fell Swoop is all about."

Meanwhile, cramped into a small backstage area next to the kitchen, Brad Ngata and his team of L'Oreal hair experts finished off the look with face-framing plaits.

"We've done a series of ponytails that follow the shape of the head," he explained.

The clothes themselves by the 2011 Most Innovative Designer of the Year were an archive of trans-seasonal signature garments, presenting light and movement through feminine tailoring, layering and draping.

The pair, who have shown at Melbourne and Australian fashion weeks, have won praise for ethereal designs, heavy on draping and layers.

The Illusive Tribe collection, spanning summer and winter designs, included pieces created for the event.

It was the first of more than 30 festival events in six days involving more than 100 backstage crew and Perth's hottest models.

The West Australian

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