What NYFW Actually Looks Like For Today's Models

Photo by Emily Howe.
Fashion Week — er, month — takes on different meanings for everyone involved. For fashion editors, it means parsing a show's trends and their viability within moments, and telling their stories to the masses. For stylists, it means a bevy of new collections to catalogue for next season's shoots. And for models, it means getting their hair and makeup done an average of seven times a day and practically living in the subway turnstiles as they're constantly on the move.

To see Fashion Week from that perspective, we followed model Marland Backus around and took as many pictures as we could. The photo diary ahead is not only an intimate look at what goes on behind the scenes, but also an unfiltered take on the realities of trying to work your way up to Super status. The takeaway? It ain't easy.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Rushing from an early morning shoot to the Hood By Air show. For models like Marland, Fashion Month means extra work on top of an already full schedule.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Heading over to the runway for the rehearsal with Hood By Air designer Shayne Oliver.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
The beauty look for the show consisted of unblended contouring and slicked-back hair.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
The mood board for the show's beauty look.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Snapping shots of the first looks as models begin to come out of wardrobe.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
At the end of the runway, photographers jockey for the best spot as the minutes to showtime tick by.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Marland and model pal Kiki Willems stick out even more than usual, emerging post-show and hustling to their next jobs.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Arriving at Thakoon with 20 minutes to spare, the time crunch is palpable. Some leftover catering in the middle of chaos was the only opportunity to grab lunch that day.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Thakoon’s beauty board is tame in comparison to the morning’s look.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
A rush to remove the fake nails with Band-Aid overlays from HBA and replace them with a more conventional manicure and pedicure (simultaneously, of course). Makeup artists not only create new looks, but have to remove the ones from previous shows first.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
It takes a village.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Making it just at the buzzer, Marland stepped out for first looks before heading to the runway. Cue all photographers demanding, “Darling, over here!”
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Photo by Emily Howe.
After a slightly delayed show wrap, Marland exits to a crush of street style photographers.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
The photographers followed blocks away from the venue and didn’t seem to care about oncoming traffic. Sneakers are essential for style stalking and Ford Taurus-dodging.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
The subway, of all places, affords a few seconds of peace and quiet during NYFW.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Marland arrives in the late afternoon for Opening Ceremony's show, held at the old House of Morgan, the enormous, slightly decaying former headquarters of J.P. Morgan. The hair team decided her head had been through enough and would need a proper wash before they could continue. A glamorous moment for all involved.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Back upstairs for more hair, makeup, manicures, and pedicures. Ever had three manicures in one day? If you had, you'd know there's simply no time to put one's shoes all the way on.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
A model takes time for a face mask (and a breather) before the next round.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
A separate station just for lips.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Final touches.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Getting the Opening Ceremony hair flip.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Unbeknownst to showgoers, the models would perform a choreographed routine instead of a traditional walk. Here, they were pulled from hair and makeup to practice.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Showtime.
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Photo by Emily Howe.
Done. Time for an energy drink and a (quick) sit before the after party.
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