We thought it would be fun to bring you backstage to see what it takes to produce the TrendSpot Fashion Show at the Unveiled Wedding Event. Each show takes almost 6 months of preparation and lasts a mere 30 minutes! We wanted to give you a first hand look at the hustle and bustle of what happens in producing this fashion runway event.
So it really all begins with the fashions, and for the recent Unveiled Event in Atlanta, GA, we started with selecting the designers that would be best suited for the show. Of course our friend Monique Lhuillier came to mind; as well as Kleinfeld’s, who we have worked closely with in the past. To this we wanted to sprinkle up-and-coming superstars like Karen Hendrix and Kimberly Pixton. With this team of designers supplying exquisite fashions, we knew we had to have our favorite models that have worked with us in New York for Couture Bridal Market. And, lucky for us they were available to fly into Atlanta for the April show. So the front end of production includes the section of the gowns and music and video components, which is what takes the most time. We spend the months leading up to the show to make sure everything is flawless (no small task when dress and models are coming from around the country!
The next part of the process begins on site at the show. First we work with production to create the fashion show theatre space. The atmosphere has to be just right to create a runway experience worthy of NYC’s fashion week. Once we have the runway completed we send a driver to pick up the group of models from the airport. They come in a day or two early to go through the fitting process. Believe it or not each dress is fitted to the models to ensure the gowns look perfect. We have a team of seamstresses and in the case of the Atlanta show, Karen Hendrix came in just to ensure that her dresses were a perfect fit.
Once we have the dresses fitted we go through a rehearsal, where models walk the runway to get a feel for each segment and for us to finalize any timing. There is really no room for error.
All this and we aren’t even to show day!
So the morning of the show, everyone is up early and on site by 7:30AM! It’s time for hair and makeup and it’s a flurry of activity getting the look just right. This process takes several hours to finish with all of the models. In the meantime we are handling last minute issues with production and getting ready for the doors to open.
On to Back Stage: It’s monitored chaos when a model has about two minutes to change into their next gown and be back up on the runway! The fashion show is all programmed so once the button is pushed to start the show; there is no time to stop the show. As we tell the models if you miss your cue go back and get changed for the next gown. The models are extremely talented and smart, I am amazed at what they do in such a short period of time and they actually help others in distress.
We have worked back stage with other staff members and it’s always funny to laugh at the stress level. Well it’s funny for some of us to laugh – it breaks up the tension. The models literally unzip the dress, step out of it right into the next gown, pull it up, zip and back in the lineup they go. If it were all that easy it would be great. The reality is, this is what it really sounds like:
Back stage you would think you were at a horseracing track or a relay race. As soon as the models exit the runway the fun begins. You will hear someone say, “Here they come,” as they are running with their gown pulled up in the front just like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. Then you will hear, “okay slow down, be careful don’t fall, as they maneuver around the sound and light cables backstage. “Take your time, we are doing fine, dang zipper, ugh can you just hold this together so I can zip it.” “There, now straighten the bodice, tie the sash and fluff the train, your good – Go!” And they are off! Some people working back stage get so nervous they get a stomachache but I have to say we have all been there in the beginning. I think it’s funny when we all look with terror on our face when we can’t get something on, or we are stressed with the next change and we just stand there with wide opened eyes not saying a word.
The stress comes when that zipper gets caught on a thread or it will not go up or come down and the last thing you want to do is zip up skin…OUCH! The down is the worst, as you will probably end up ripping out the zipper if stuck so they can change in time for the next gown. With stress comes nerves and with nerves come sweaty hands and fingertips so grabbing hold of those small zippers can be difficult. Sometimes you put so much pressure on your fingers that they scratch or develop burns. Oh, the glamour side of fashion. All the while on the runway it looks so beautiful, calm and collected.
Once they step into the gown and on their way to the runway entrance it’s time to hang up the gown and get the next one ready. While dressers are taking care of the garments, the hair and makeup people are backstage just a few feet from the runway entrance for last minute hair and makeup touch ups. Re-spraying the hair, touching up the lips, powder on the forehead…oh the fun of it all. And in 30-35 minutes it’s all over. Now it’s time to straighten up backstage for the next show!