FASHION WEEK: BACKSTAGE VS. FRONT STAGE IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY | #StayExcited | Post 2 of 6

Laura on Fullback and Friends | As the excitement of entering the New Year begins to settle; Many eyes are now turning towards the much anticipated commencement of Spring/Sumer 2016 Fashion Week. February is the month that invites designers from across the globe to launch their newest ideas and outfits into the world of fashion; displaying their latest collections in runway shows and across social media, in a bid to set this season’s current trend ‘do’s and don’ts’ for all Fashionistas alike.

(Keep up-to-date with the hottest new S/S2016 trends here: http://www.vogue.co.uk/fashion/trends / and Fashion Week events here: http://fashionweekonline.com/ )

With the upcoming shows being the industry’s current focus, I felt that it would be right to tell you a little about backstage life during the winter fashion season; I have been very blessed in being able to gain first-hand experience during one of the hottest periods in the fashion calendar, and truly love working as part of the wardrobe department during numerous catwalk shows.

Something that has always interested me about fashion, since I was a little girl, was what it would be like to work backstage at a catwalk show. Take The Clothes Show Live Alcatel One Touch Fashion Show, for example. I have watched the Fashion Theatre’s catwalk show and fallen in love with the sparkles every year since I can remember, and finally, in December 2015, I was lucky enough to be apart of the backstage experience for myself.

Truthfully, I was, at first, a little over-whelmed by the backstage world. Walking into an empty backstage area and within seconds it being transformed into a metropolis of over-flowing clothes rails, teams of make-up artists and stylists, and of course, the models themselves, was daunting and yet still is the most magical experience I have ever witnessed.

On stage, the models and dancers look absolutely flawless; with their outfits freshly steamed, catwalk routines effortlessly undertaken with each outfit change and effortless make-up looks; you have no idea of the extraordinary, meticulous attentions to detail taking place just metres away behind the catwalk curtains…

…Someone running across the room and falling to their knees to re-tie a tangled shoe lace whilst a member of the hair and make-up team repositions a loose curl coming out of place, seconds before they take their cue. Model dressers waiting in line to freshly steam a men’s suit trouser before they head on stage. 40+ models running back and forth to the catwalk in order to make their cues, swerving around bags and high heels left in the middle of the carpet from their previous outfit changes. 2-3 minutes to remove and reassemble a full look- with accessories, shoes, bags, necklaces…

See behind-the-scenes backstage highlights from CSL 2015 here:

It is fast and it is bloody fantastic.

The success of a catwalk show, I believe, lies in the hands of the hundreds of bodies that make up the wardrobe, dressing, make-up and hair, choreography and styling departments. When a model walks on stage, their only concern is making sure that they are focused upon their choreography.  If a heel buckle isn’t done up properly, a shoe is three sizes too small and crippling the models’ feet or a dress zip isn’t fully done up in time, they have to get on with it. Some outfit changes are so quick (I remember I once had 28 seconds to remove and reapply a full men’s suit!) it takes three people collectively to get that model back on stage.

Read the requirements and experiences from BTS of a fashion show from model dressers themselves; http://fashionista.com/2015/09/fashion-week-dressers

6 days, 33 shows and more impressively 231 outfit changes taken per model(!!) later, I have to say that The Clothes Show Live catwalk show is the most enjoyable & invaluable opportunity that I have experienced to date. I am very much looking forward to my next roles in the wardrobe department, and sharing the experiences with you later in the month. Keep up-to-date with my experiences backstage on here: http://laurakenttextiles.co.uk/blog/

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