Have you ever thought how complicated hosting a runway fashion show is? When being part of the public, you may think that everything is easy to handle and all you need to do is find beautiful models that rock the clothes you create. Well, it’s nothing like that. There is a lot of effort involved in creating a good runway fashion show, from the clothes that are being presented, the models who walk the runway and the whole ambiance of the event. The longest-lasting process is creating the clothes, but renting a venue, setting the surroundings, adding the wow element to the runway fashion show is just as important.
Here are some tips you should definitely know about if you want to host one yourself:
Planning, planning, planning
You need a lot of type to put together a runway fashion show. Look at Victoria’s Secret. Teams of hundreds of people work for that event for a whole year, and only the best get to work there. When you are at the beginning of your career, expect even more time involved in the process. Start with a year and a half before the main event if it is a big one, and at least 6 months if it is a smaller one. Depending on the models that will walk the runway and the people you will invite, the runway show has to be flawless or more indulgent.
During the planning phase, make sure to take care of:
Finding the most appropriate venue
Depending on the purposes you set, the location will define how the runway fashion show turns out to be. If you want to come up with a unique idea that wasn’t tried before, you need to find the venue that will fit the theme of the clothes and the season. The venue also needs to be approved by the model agency because their models are the ones that will have to walk around and everything needs to be done by the existing regulation in regards of model safety. Many stairs usually scare models off, which means it will be more difficult to find someone who will be able to participate to your show. Book your venue early and get creative with the details.
Adding the details – theme
You need to set a theme for the whole event and make sure you purchase all the items that are necessary to add more dimension to the show. For instance, you can get custom signage from Signomatic, or you can include natural elements such as water, sand or wood in your runway’s design. It will be trickier, but you should manage to come up with something truly mesmerizing so that all the people who attend the event will remember it. In case you have a strong brand already, use it in your favor.
Hiring the models
Discuss with the models you are planning to hire long before the event. They usually plan their year in advance, so that they can get prepared for the runways they are going to walk. Discussing with model agencies early enough and letting them know about the rehearsal dates and the show date is something you should tackle during the first months of preparation.
Without rehearsals, you risk not to obtain that beautiful runway show you pictured into your head, don’t forget models also need their space to get ready for the show. One single mistake in the organization of the event can ruin everything. At least two rehearsals are recommended before the main event. This way, you make sure that everything related to it is going to be perfect. The more rehearsals you can organize, the better. Moreover, you will get to see how your designer clothes look on the models and if there is something you would need to change about them.
See what the big brands do
Alexander McQueen’s show in 2009
All Alexander McQueen’s shows are memorable, but one of them broke all the norms. It is about the FW 2009 show which was expressively named Horn of Plenty. The show impressed everyone because of the setting, the accessories, makeup and hair that the models wore and the houndstooth prints that remained an example in the fashion industry. The runway decor was utterly simple, as it consisted of a huge pile of old furniture (chairs to be exact). The show was entirely dedicated to McQueen’s mother. The models wore a cartoon-like, excessive makeup and eccentric headpieces made out of all sorts of materials, such as cans or cling wrap.
Louis Vuitton in 2014
Another memorable show was the SS 2014 one, for Louis Vuitton. During 2014, Marc Jacobs collaborated with the house for one more time, which resulted in this wonderful last show. The entire show was so luxurious that left everyone mesmerized. It featured a huge fountain, a train station, elevators, escalators and – the final piece – a merry-go-round, everything colored black. The show had a nostalgic feeling to it, but it became a statement look for the house.
Chanel in 2014
The 2014 FW show of Chanel featured a very unique idea – the models walked among supermarket shelves. When it comes to Chanel, nothing is too expensive, so they booked the Grand Palais. The supermarket theme was never used before, and Chanel filled all the shelves with branded products that models would pick and place in their shopping baskets. The runway fashion show had a humorous touch to it, which made it even more enjoyable for the crowds.
Learn from your failures
Keep in mind that the first runway fashion show you organize might not be a total success. In case you receive negative feedback, don’t get discouraged. You will have numerous other chances to show what you got. The first time, try to focus on your clothes and see if people in this industry appreciate them. If you seem to be on the right path, just continue working for it and you will reach a great point in your career. Failures happen so that you can learn from them. Put effort and passion into it and you have all chances to become a great designer and runway fashion show organizer.
Backstage moments at JACQUEMUS Spring Summer 2019 Fashion Show captured by Benoit Auguste for DESIGN SCENE – discover more of the behind the scenes action at this prestige Paris Fashion Week show.