On a cold, grey morning in February, the masses gathered at Manhattan’s Pier 94 to celebrate one common love—and for once, it wasn’t fashion. By trains, planes, and automobiles, they came in hordes. Two-legged, four-legged, all here for one reason: The 143rd Westminster Dog Show. Passing through a tented doorway and past a group of chain-smoking judges, I entered into the throes of a previously unknown world. Dog-lovers mingled with breeders and lifetime groomers, Westminster veterans with first-time-competitors in a scene I can only describe as heavenly chaos.
I expected that tensions backstage would be high. I expected that the French Bulldog would be a crowd favorite, as would the Longhaired Dachshund with its too-short-too-cute legs. What I didn’t expect was the next level grooming fit for a philocalist. To my right, a King Charles Cavalier sat dutifully in the wind of a small hairdryer as a groomer took a round brush to her long ears, getting out every kink and curl. To my left stood an Afghan Hound whose side part and enigmatic stare was the spitting image of Fabio on the cover of a Medieval romance novel.
Visual stimulants aside, the beauty tips were insane. Below, the best backstage looks and the products to make it all happen.
Straight and Shine Spray, 6.7 oz./ 200 mL
Pocket Mixture Bristle Hair Brush
Curl Shampoo, 10 oz./ 300 mL
Curl Conditioner, 8.4 oz./ 250 mL
Soft Curl Iron