Lights, Camera, Design – Behind The Runway Scene with Emerging Designers

Mena Lombard b-t-s

What appears to be glamorous and fun is a lot of hard work, long hours,  and is not just with the designer.  A 10 – 20 minute runway show is a collaborative production process that takes months of planning.

In today’s digital fashion world where runway shows are easily accessible to the public, the fascination and curiosity go beyond that.  The public wants more and they are equally intrigued by what goes on behind-the-scenes [b-t-s] as they are for the actual catwalk.

EDGE recently attended Fashion Week Los Angeles [FWLA] at Union Station.  Union Station, a national registered historic landmark, is the largest railroad passenger terminal in the Western United States.   This well preserved Art Deco, Mission Revival  architect and grand scale interior was a beautiful backdrop to this fashion event.  The runway show was in the Original Ticket Lobby.

On a different grand scale, there is a lot of planning from stage set to lighting to marketing in producing a fashion show.  The real task is on the designer – creating the collection, choosing a theme, and stylizing each runway look.   Designing, fitting, and rehearsals are key elements in presenting the collection, but the stage, sound, lighting, and music are all intertwined with the actual catwalk and an intricate part of the process.  If any of these elements fall short, it can make or break the show.  Even with a well thought out plan, a seasoned producer will prepare for those unexpected hiccups.

Pre-Show, Media Allowed
Original Ticket Lobby | Pre-Show, Media Allowed
Pre-Show, Final Runway Stage Repairs
Original Ticket Lobby | Pre-Show, Final Runway Stage Repairs

What did I find b-t-s at FWLA?  The expected.  Backstage were hungry models eating hamburgers and fries and on cell phones while waiting for hair, makeup, and wardrobe. Yes, models are human, too.  Hair and makeup artists were in full force while stylists and designers reviewed the lineup board.   Garments that didn’t fit were being adjusted, sewn and pinned to models.  Journalists, with their camera crew, conducted interviews.    It was a scene and the show did go on, however, the show[s] did start late.  We were told it [this hiccup] was due to too much natural light on the runway, hmmm, really?

Here are a few b-t-s looks at Fashion Week Los Angeles Union Station runway show.

Minan Wong | b-t-s Runway Line-Up
Minan Wong | b-t-s Runway Line-Up
Models dressed in Minan Wong b-t-s
Models dressed in Minan Wong b-t-s
Mena Lombard, b-t-s
Mena Lombard, b-t-s
FWLA | © Rhonda P. Hill, IMG_0029
Ticket Concourse Waiting Room | Models Texting, Taking Pics, Eating, Waiting, Dressing
FWLA | © Rhonda P. Hill, IMG_0037
Ticket Concourse Waiting Room | Models Hair and Makeup

What happens before and after a runway show?  Besides the “red carpet” fuss, a good producer will have a productive interactive schedule for the media, buyers, designers, and industry professionals to attend such as trade events, panel discussions, and one on one interviews with the designers.

FWLA Designer Interviews
FWLA Designer Interview Reception
FWLA | © Rhonda P. Hill, MG_0025
Post Show Interview | Byron V. Garrett of The Valdecio Collection

What happens post show?  The designers breathe again.

Stay connected and part of the conversation on the relevancy of fashion runway shows.

EDGE congratulates all emerging designers across the globe in finding effective mediums to expose their work.

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Rhonda P. Hill

Founder, Publishing Editor

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