MIAMI — What do you get when you stuff two stylists, a publicist, a magazine shoot, two TV shoots, two security guards, a makeup artist, two hairstylists, two dogs and a mom in one place? Hilary and Haylie Duff's very crowded room at the Palms Hotel in the hours leading up to the Video Music Awards.
While the Duff duo were getting ready for their red carpet arrival the afternoon of the awards (see "Instant Fashion Profile: Hilary, Haylie And Omarion Go From Naked To Natty"), their two-bedroom penthouse suite was swarmed with people assisting with that process. It's just that the process wasn't so simple.
The sitting area was filled with people who were there to write stories on the Duff girls, and their publicist was trying to adhere to a tight schedule, which had the sisters out the door by 4:45 p.m. Despite the fact that at 4:20 Hilary hadn't been able to eat and Haylie's hair wasn't finished yet, they posed for every shot, sat for every interview, and charmed everyone in the room at the same time.
While Hilary was posing for photos, she talked about bands with her makeup artist. While Haylie was getting her makeup done, she enthused about the idea of seeing Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen at the awards, as well as her old pal Ashlee Simpson (see "Want Some Miami Heat? Check The Fashion On The VMA Red Carpet").
Behind the scenes, the stylists took over one bedroom with wardrobe items. There were two racks of clothing (outfit options for the red carpet, the awards and the parties), at least 50 pairs of shoes from Gucci to Richard Tyler to Christian Louboutin, and so many accessories that they took up both beds and some shelf space as well. The stylist who pulled the clothes for the event was ironing, sewing, and mixing and matching jewelry to find the exact right look for each of the girls. The other bedroom was private and used for actual sleeping, though only the dogs were enjoying that luxury before the VMAs.
While Hilary was getting her makeup done, Haylie was checking out the catered food. After surveying the choices — fruit, seafood salad, chicken, salmon, mozzarella and tomato salad, and a whole table devoted only to desserts — Haylie popped some olives in her mouth and prepared a plate of food. "You guys have to eat the olives," she said while taking a bite of half a tuna sandwich, "or else I'm going to finish them." She then declared her love not only for the tempting olives, but also for peperoncini.
When it came time for Haylie's makeup, she turned up the Red Hot Chili Peppers on the iPod and passed along some grooming tips she'd picked up from all the makeup artists she's worked with, such as a warning against waxing your eyebrows: The skin above the eyes is so thin that when you keep tearing it off, it ages faster.
Later on the iPod, Hilary played the Smiths and the Postal Service and sang along to the latter's "Such Great Heights" while she layered on tons of antique gold necklaces in preparation for the show. As Haylie put on her vintage green and gold belt, she said, "I hope this is one of the things I get to keep."
Go behind the scenes at the 2004 VMAs
By 4:30 p.m., one of the security guards gave five seconds to the remaining members of the press by literally counting to five and moving the girls to the next station. He and the publicist wanted people to pack it in so Hilary, Haylie, their mother, and their friends could enjoy 15 short minutes of alone time before the whole zoo began again.