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This Singaporean Runway Model Gives Us A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Life During Fashion Week

From snapping a pic with the legendary Yohji Yamamoto to walking her very first couture show, Kaigin Yong gives us the rundown on what fashion week is really like for an international runway model.

ICYMI: Last week, Singaporean model Kaigin Yong let us in on the fuss-free skincare routine that prepped her skin for the mad rush of both the Spring/Summer 2020 Couture and Fall/Winter 2020 shows. Unsurprisingly, this season was nothing short of packed for the 25-year-old. Between booking her very first gig at Paris Couture Fashion Week in January and walking for major brands such as Yohji Yamamoto and Lemaire at Paris Fashion Week just over a week ago, Yong clocked in 14 shows.

Here, she lets us in on the good, the glam and everything else in between with a behind-the-scenes photo diary.


A colourful start to my fashion week journey walking for sportswear label Li Ning’s Fall/Winter 2020 collection
There was a super cool industrial set up at the show and models were told to walk fast and strong through the various tunnels
First show for my first couture season – Ralph & Russo Spring/Summer 2020
Major hair transformation taking place at Ralph & Russo’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture show
All dolled up for the show!   Credit: Ralph and Russo
Getting ready for Viktor and Rolf’s Spring/Summer 2020 couture show
Fitting for Viktor and Rolf a day before the show. I tried three outfits and the first one sealed the deal. I also love that this collection was all about sustainable fashion
Everyone had so much fun getting temporary tattoos from head to toe! So much respect and gratitude to the entire team for their amazing work despite the time crunch and madness backstage   Credit: Viktor & Rolf
Each model had their unique tattoos, mine read ‘flower’
Last minute travelling is something I am still getting used to. Got less than a day’s notice and I got to head to Copenhagen for the first time for the Stine Goya Fall/Winter 2020 show
A pop of colour for the Stine Goya Fall/Winter 2020 show   Credit: Stine Goya 
Took multiple tests to achieve this bold lip courtesy of MAC cosmetics’ makeup team
After casting for Erdem and meeting the designer in person, I was asked to stay behind to do a hair makeup test for the show. It was unexpected and an exciting first experience for me and I also got a sneak peek of the collection’s mood board before the show
A powerful look for Erdem’s Fall/Winter 2020 show – silver foil accent on the eyes and classic finger wave for the hair   Credit: Filippo Fortis
This is a common casting situation in Milan. I had to queue for about an hour before meeting the casting director (that doorway led to two flight of stairs with more than 100 models waiting for their turn). Sometimes models have to queue outdoors in the cold too
Major flashback to my very first show when I went to Milan in 2018. Reunited with the sweetest Italian designer Antonio Marras and his loving family again in 2020 – it is especially heartwarming as they remembered me from two years ago.  Always a pleasure to be part of his show – he’s such a brilliant storyteller and designer!
Wig on and all ready for the show!
Fitting for Antonio Marras
Beautiful intricate details from the hat to the threads. Antonio Marras always delivers   Credit: Antonio Marras’ personal page
Back to school for the Lemaire Fall/Winter 2020 show
Casting mug shot
Converting a lecture hall into backstage for the fashion show
Lineup during rehearsals for Lemaire’s Fall/Winter 2020 show
For the show we were briefed to forgo the typical model walk and just be natural, casual and free while wandering through the University hall  
I particularly loved the diversity represented in the show. It’s refreshing and a step in the right direction to have greater inclusivity in fashion   Credit: Stepan Filenko
I had three shows on the same day (Ingie Paris, Lemaire and Moon Young Hee) and I was running late for my final show. Taking the motorcycle is the quickest way to get around Paris traffic so here I am being all excited by the rush and taking a touristy shot while on the road to my next show
A big hair and makeup transformation awaited us backstage at the Yohji Yamamoto Fall/Winter 2020 show! Everyone was like a big family – the same team (Pat and Eugene) does the show almost every year and it’s incredible to see masters at work
One can of hairspray later and a stressed out hairstylist
Each model had a customised hair and makeup look – absolutely fell in love with the Edward Scissorhands vibe
Looking moody but dying with happiness on the inside to be part of Yohji Yamamoto Fall/Winter 2020 show   Credit: Harrison Tsui
Could not take photos during the fitting so captured this for memory! The fitting was such an amazing eye-opening experience. The show music was played and models walked in front of Yohji individually and in groups. He looked at us through an imaginary camera formed with his hands, and shortlisted models for fitting. He made adjustments to each outfit on the spot – adding his signature drapes – and I was able to see his passion and love for his work firsthand
Yohji Yamamoto and his trusted aide showing us how it is done, demonstrating the walk during rehearsals. There was a lot of laughter, positive energy and good vibes – no stress and enjoyable all around
Felt emotional during the show to have experienced such kindness and encouragement from Yohji and his team from start to end. I was also deeply touched by his work and passion. The entire experience was certainly humbling and I felt really blessed to have been put in such a position  
The closing look of the show
With the humble yet legendary Yohji Yamamoto! He’s a true inspiration and I’m incredibly honoured and thankful to have had the opportunity to work with him