In pictures: Viktor & Rolf, anatomy of a show at Paris Fashion Week 2012

The show started with models standing in a mirrored box, waiting to walk the runway.
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Most of the time, during Paris Fashion Week, we rush from show to show, arriving 20 minutes late (but that's ok, because the show starts half an hour late), frantically taking notes and iPhone pictures for the 10 minutes that the models are walking the catwalk, and then we scarper as fast as possible, to get to the next show in time.

That’s not all there is, though. I went backstage at the Viktor & Rolf show (1.30pm on Saturday) and by the time I got there at 11.30am, hair and make-up were well under way, under the supervision of the great Pat McGrath.

It was nearly 4pm by the time I left the post-show backstage gathering, leaving those who’d taken part, including, of course, Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, to their well-earned celebrations – though the models had departed long before. Here are some of my shots from the day.

The models were having their make-up and hair prepared long before the rehearsal began.

This model was having colour dabbed onto her lips for a good 30 seconds.

The ushers wait outside the tent, suited and booted, ready to guide guests to their seats.

The designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren came backstage to check on progress and talk to the make-up guru Pat McGrath.

On one side of the tent, in the Jardin des Tuileries, was table after table of make-up brushes; on the other side hair extensions, curling tongs and, of course, countless cans of Elnett.

Backstage, Polaroids of the models are pasted up to reveal the running order of the show.

During the show, guests take photos for reference; next to this front-row snapper, the stylist Rachel Zoe watches through huge sunglasses.

The models walk the catwalk together for the show finale.

Afterwards there was a scrum of those invited to go backstage, through the mirrored box at the start of the catwalk.

With the spring/summer show finally over, the clothes are protected before being taken to the show-room for re-sees later in the week.

For more information you can visit Mode à Paris

More from Paris

Day one: moody romanticism from Van Noten and Rochas Day two: Arora, Copping, Lanvin – a season to be contrary Day three: grown-up glamour at Dior, Anne-Valérie Hash, Roland Mouret – and rainbows at Issey Miyake Day four-five: power play at Jean Paul Gaultier, Loewe and Andrew Gn Day six: graphic Hermès, glamorous Giambattista Valli and the black and blues at Saint Laurent Day seven: clean energy charms at Chanel Picture special: Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Dior seen, and re-seen Final day: Elie Saab and Louis Vuitton shine as the curtain falls like the rain in Paris

The National’s fashion correspondent Gemma Champ will be writing every day from Paris Fashion Week. She has previously blogged from London Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week.