NZFW 2019 Backstage – Meet Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart interview

Model Amelia from All is for All (left) and Kristen Stewart (right) backstage at Starving Artists Fund’s NZFW 2019 show. Image by Getty Images.

Makeup artist and makeup school director Kristen Stewart has been involved with New Zealand Fashion Week since the beginning. Which is no surprise seeing as her mum is Dame Pieter Stewart, founder of NZFW, so it really is a family affair at fashion week. When Kristen isn’t backstage at NZFW creating stunning makeup looks on the models, you’ll find her running her top tier makeup school, Kristen Stewart School of Makeup (KSSM), down in Christchurch.

Each year Kristen compiles a team of her top graduate students to join her up in Auckland for a week’s worth of hard work and long days in bringing the designer’s makeup looks to life as a collaborative process. Each year, we get the chance to see Kristen in her element creating beauty backstage, so I pulled her aside and asked her a few questions about her experience at NZFW 2019 and here’s what she had to say:

What is your role at NZ Fashion Week?
I am the creative director of makeup for most of the runway shows. I designed most of the looks for the designers and I oversee the team and attending students, as well as creating the looks on the models.

How do you get inspiration to create your makeup looks for each show?
First, we discuss with each designer what their vision is for their show, then we incorporate what they want and what works for the runway. If the designer does not have a clear vision, this is when we come up with the ideas. This usually comes from current trends, or something that I feel will work with their collection. We are lucky with the internet these days to be able to put vision boards together with a lot more ease than in the earlier years where we would rip up magazines.

What were your favourite looks this year?
I have a few and they were all quite different. Campbell Luke – I loved the simplicity that showed the natural beauty of the models he had chosen, it worked so well with the clothes and it all came together so well. Jojo Ross – I love the 80’s, so I really took the lead on this one and went all out, the purple and yellow worked so well together. And lastly, Starving Artists Fund – both myself and Natasha the designer had input on this, she had a vision, and I needed to execute it to beyond her expectations.

What are the current makeup trends you’re seeing?
This year it was mainly all about the skin. We didn’t use a lot of foundation because we really wanted the skin to be the standout and we generally kept it dewy. We did a lot of fake freckles over the nose to give that fresh young faced feel and used pops of colour here and there.

Makeup look created by Kristen Stewart for Campbell Luke’s NZFW 2019 show. Image by James Yang Photography.

What do you think will be next for makeup trends?
I see a lot of the 80’s coming back. Probably not as crazy with all the colours thrown together but in a more striking and contained way, which brings a lot of fun and vibrancy to the face.

What are your current favourite products?
All M.A.C Cosmetics. I love Face and Body Foundation, and the Full Coverage Foundation Pro Palette, Blot Powder to take a little of the shine down. The other fun product I used a lot over the week was the Paint Stick Pro Palette, the colours are so fun and very versatile,

Where can people see more of your work?
We use Instagram a lot, not to just showcase my work but also the work of my students. This also leaks over to Facebook, but Instagram is our main platform – @kssmmakeup.

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