Backstage at New York Fashion Week with Paris Parker’s Quinn Richard

Paris Parker’s own Quinn Richard gives us an inside look of what it takes to style for the runway at New York Fashion Week.

By Susan Langenhennig, | The Times-Picayune. Originally seen on February, 2011

On Friday afternoon, I caught up with Quinn Richard, a stylist from Paris Parker’s Prytania Street salon, who was in the thick of things working backstage at the fall 2011 Nicole Miller show.

This is Richard’s second time doing hair at New York Fashion Week. He’s one of the team of stylists working with Kevin Ryan on a bunch of shows, including Richard Chai’s Love, Nicole Miller, Richard Chai’s men’s collection, Kevork Kiledjian, Tibi and Milly.

When I found him, Richard was smashed into a corner cluttered with styling products, straight irons and curling rods, working side by side with another stylist on a model, who was getting her makeup done at the same time.

The hairstyle for Nicole Miller was a “messy rock ’n roll” look, using lots of dry shampoo, Tigi styling products and Surf gel by Bumble and Bumble to get that not-washed feel.

(Click on the video to hear Richard talk about the style. Sorry for the pitiful audio quality. It was noisy back there!)

“It’s sort of a dirty, just rolled in kind of look,” said Richard, who wielded a straight iron while he chatted about his experiences in the bowels of the backstage scene.

So what’s been the craziest moment so far? “Yesterday morning at Richard Chai, things were just chaotic. Working here can be hectic, trying to find your stuff and people tripping over everything. But then it all works out. It always does. All this work for a 10-minute show.”

What’s it like tag-teaming with another stylist on the same model. Does it get territorial? “No, it’s really cool. Everybody here is from different places, and you get to meet so many random people who then become your friends. Plus, at Paris Parker, our quarters are pretty close, so I guess I’m used to working in tight spaces.”

As a stylist, what do you get out of working at fashion week? Do you pick up new styles and tricks to uses behind your chair back home? “I don’t necessarily bring the styles back to New Orleans. What I bring back is the creative energy and excitement. Coming here breaks me out of the routine and let’s me see what’s happening out here, and it fires me up and brings back that passion. That’s the most important thing that I can bring to my clients back home.”