Vancouver Fashion Week Part Three: Makeup Artist Gloria Kim

makeup1 It is universally acknowledged that film and fashion are intrinsically linked. In fact, a fashion show is very much like a film with its unique characters, themes, set design, cinematography, etc. But unlike film, fashion shows get much less time and fewer scenes to tell the story.  No doubt each of the 50 plus designers that showed at Vancouver Fashion Week this season spent countless hours creating a unique vision for their show. While the clothes may be the main characters, the role of the models and their makeup cannot be stressed enough.


Gloria Kim at Vancouver Fashion Week Opening Gala

Talking to Gloria Kim (김자선), Vancouver Fashion Week’s beauty director, I was reminded of the sheer scale of the significance and workload that she and her makeup artists faced. “I have to pull an all-nighter tonight to finish preparing for all the shows for tomorrow,” she stated in a surprisingly matter-of-fact tone considering the circumstances. She explained that the timing of the arrival of the products for the show and her team’s preparation didn’t coincide which resulted in too many all-nighters throughout the week. But I also soon found out that even without the timing issue, her perfectionist nature would inevitably lead her to work long hours in order to finish her preparation. “It’s not good enough for me to just explain to my team what needs to be done and let it work itself out. I sketch out everything in detail for my team. I need to personally examine each face at the end and approve. I know, I know… My team tells me I worry too much.” makeup2

It is this kind of dedication that gained her the first place win at the Glamour Beauty makeup competition in 2008, and the second place win at the ABA (Allied Beauty Association) Competition in 2009, the largest beauty show in Canada. After cutting her beauty teeth at her mother’s wedding dress shop, turning 30 made her reflect what it was that she truly enjoyed doing before embarking on the path of makeup artistry.  Professing her love of transforming faces, she said “I had to follow my dream.”

<Photos courtesy of Aziz Dhamani photography>makeup3

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