Ready to strut the catwalk: prep behind Fashion Week season

We're on the brink of the Fashion Week season for Autumn/Winter 2013. But why wait for the excitement to begin when we can sneak backstage to show the secrets behind previous fashion shows from an inside perspective.

The suspense of unfolding a collection is always new and positively gripping. Months of hard work accumulate to a moment of intensity just before the show starts where models march steadily from makeup artists to hairstylists in order to get their looks perfected for the catwalk.

Brushes, combs, palettes and products are thrown astern across dressing rooms until the countdown begins.

Three, two, one, GO!

As makeup artists and stylists crowd around the 'Model of the Year', Cara Delevingne, brushes, powders, blushes, eye-shadows are brought together to prepare the show-stopping beauty look for Versace 

Picking out gorgeous diadems and ornate earrings from the accessories collection for Dolce & Gabbana is every girl's dream. Topped off with an expert manicure and hand treatment by Chanel, who could watch without envy at the life of a model 

A statement fringe was just one of the hot beauty trends of 2012/2013, spotted transforming the models backstage at Versace. On the right, a model tries out a 3D makeover with 'caviar' lip glitter 

The models of Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier take time to relax before the show with a spot of reading, gossip and getting hands-on with the technical equipment behind the scenes 

Model Querelle Jansen waits with her hair prepped and face made-up, taking the time to top up on hydration before being dressed in oneRoberto Cavalli's designs 

On the left we see Dan Caten, one of the designers of DSquared2, posing proudly next to two of the models in his show. In the upper right, a group of girls backstage at Gucci pose in their new looks. Below left, minutes before the start of the parade of Nina Ricci, models team together for a chat to calm their pre-show nerves 

Drawn up on a map, the route that the models follow on the catwalk is outlined backstage. And it's always important to remember to check over the finishing touches of the designs to ensure everything is flawless before hitting the stage 

As French designer Balmain's show begins, the models have time to watch and cheer on their friends or add a final touch to their look