What is a Fashion Show?
A fashion show is an event that a fashion designer arranges for showcasing his upcoming line of clothing. Typically, models walk the runway, dressed in the designer’s clothing and influential people from the fashion industry attend the event. Interestingly, there are a few unique fashion shows where the models are just sitting, standing, or remain static in a constructed environment.
Sometimes, the order in which every model walks is planned out to represent the statement that the designer intends to make about his collection. In addition to that, how the model wears a creation is not necessarily the way an everyday consumer will wear the same piece of clothing. The same outfit can be worn in different variations.
But, there are some fashion shows which do not showcase a designer’s future product line. Rather, these events are organized to celebrate a particular theme, mood, or present different creations of multiple designers. For that reason, fashion shows can also be based on a higher level idea.
Who comes to a Fashion Show?
Essentially, the audience at a fashion show comprises of:
Celebrities: It is easy to spot numerous ex-models, singers, as well as actors in the audience. Some of these renowned faces are just there to boost their own popularity.
Stylists/Curators/Photographers/Editors: All such professionals take inspiration from different styles, a fresh idea, or a new technique.
Online Brick & Mortar, Store Owners, and Buyers: Buyers and owners look for any trading opportunities in a fashion show since all stakeholders are attending the event.
Friends of the brand: People who support a brand or are friends or relatives of the designer attend an event to show their support. Students also attend shows of their mentors to learn how different styles and technique are incorporated. When the lineup consists of new items from any of the best fashions designers out there you can be sure it will be packed!
Popular Fashion Show Categories
Not all types of fashion shows are similar. Typically, fashion shows are classified by clothing type first, and by season second. Designers reflect on the purpose of the show and the season to channel their creative efforts.
They dress their models according to different categories. Some of these categories include couture, menswear, ready-to-wear, summer, winter, and pre-fall.
Let’s take a brief look at each of these fashion categories:
These shows represent inventive but practical styles preferred by the mainstream buyers. It is common for middle-class brand retailers to take inspiration from high-end designers to replicate high-end ready-to-wear apparel.
Have you ever witnessed models walking down the runway in outlandish ruffles? In some fashion shows, models wear colorful bird feathers and exotic perfumes. Couture can be sometimes blatantly impractical but portray a designer’s true creativity and his signature style.
Today most designers cater more to women’s fashion than men’s looks. Thanks to an increasing number of men’s brands, several renowned designers organize separate fashion shows for men only.
In addition to these types, the spring and fall seasons call for a couple of seasonal shows every year. Pre-fall is another popular category, which gives consumers a peek into the fall collection. Such shows are an amalgamation of couture style, ready to wear looks, and contemporary fashion.
How do you organize a runway fashion show?
It takes thorough planning and a team of dedicated professionals to put a fashion show together. Not all fashion shows are aimed at celebrating creativity and showcasing an upcoming collection. There are some shows which are organized as promotional or community events for raising charity.
Regardless of the nature of the show, it is important to look into all relevant aspects of a fashion show to organize a successful and flawless event. From choosing a theme to finding the right location and working with the best team; there are quite a few steps involved.
Some key professionals you need for organizing a fashion show include photographers, videographers, hair and makeup stylists, sound and lighting technicians, as well as media coordinators. Show organizers also plan a detailed program to decide the order of featured designers, styles, and models. Music and lighting arrangements are also crucial elements of organizing a fashion show.
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Here are a few elements to take care of for organizing a fashion show.
Theme: You must have a theme for your fashion show that ties the clothing-line and the event. This reference point helps you book the right venue and choose the appropriate designers.
Budget: Organizers work under a fixed budget to set up a fashion show. Determining a budget is necessary since you know your spending limits. In case you are organizing a charity event, donations can greatly help.
Location: There are several common or shared spaces such as event centers and halls where you can book a reasonable spot. If you are organizing a community event, you can also choose a spacious school or a college. However, organizers must ensure they are booking a space large enough to accommodate their desired crowd. Models require an area for hair, make-up, and changing their outfits. Make prior arrangements if you want to book the space for rehearsal times.
Team: Building a multi-talented team for covering every job lets you run a successful fashion show. For example, a backstage manager manages all major problems at the back-end and make sure everyone is working smoothly. You also require lighting and sound technicians to take care of lights and music, which is the life of any fashion show. Your back-stage staff also includes makeup and hair artists, photographers, and wardrobe specialists to help your models get in and out of clothes without wasting precious time. Don’t forget to recruit five to six people for the set-up and clean-up crew.
No fashion show is successful without some traditional and digital marketing. Hire someone if you are not tech-savvy or don’t know how to promote your event.
If you can’t afford to hire extensive teams, you can look for volunteers who are eager to get mainstream exposure. Having extra hands help you delegate menial but important tasks without going overboard your budget.
Find Boutiques and Designers
This stage is the most fun part. But, if you don’t know how to network, it could be the most challenging. Most times, fashion show organizers offer boutiques and designers to showcase their best work by offering them credits in their event. Not all designers want to appear onstage and will be back backstage throughout the event. However, giving new designers an opportunity to showcase their creations and build their fan-base is a great way to grown and network in the fashion industry.
Coordinate Outfits and Find Models
Again, you can ask for volunteers or aspiring models, looking out for a breakthrough in the modeling world. But if you are organizing a fashion show for a renowned designer, you need to work with seasoned or professional models.
Rehearse and Finalize your Show
Organizing a fashion show is a collaborative process. Make sure all your team members are well-connected to each other to avoid any confusion later.
Once you finalize all details, it’s time to schedule rehearsals. Having multiple rehearsal sessions guarantee a flawless fashion show with no major errors. Rehearsing with your crew can give you an idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each crew member. From your backstage manager to your stylist and models; everyone has to participate in the rehearsal. You can also check out with an event management company that would take care of everything, from rehearsals to the final show.
How much does it cost to run a fashion show?
Keeping in mind that you have to book a venue, recruit and run a team (including artists, technicians, and models), and pay for all the equipment used in the show; the amount can go up to thousands of dollars. Set designing, seating arrangements, and last-minute errands can also add to the expenses.
How do models walk on the runway?
Models strive hard to be graceful, smooth, and light on their feet. All models require a great deal of practice to master the runway walk. Placing one foot in front of the other without bouncing or losing your balance requires both skills and expertise.
Models keep their shoulders relaxed and slightly backward. Keeping hipbones parallel to the floor and bending your knees keep you relaxed and comfortable. Models do not swing their arms any further than their body and hold their fingers and hands with grace.
Here are a few key elements to master the runway walk:
Pull Your Head up
When you pull your shoulders back, your head automatically gets pulled up. But, you must make a conscious effort. Holding your head up high also makes your neck appear sleek and contribute to a fierce walk.
Confidence is the key to everything, even modeling. There are no shy or awkward moments on the runway because all models know how to walk confidently on the ramp. That way, they appear more commanding and powerful.
Striking the Perfect Pose
Models walk with a smooth, consistent, and natural pace. When striking a pose by placing hands on the hips, you should keep your thumbs pointed forward and your fingers should be held together pointing back. Keep your fingers in a ‘mannequin’ style if your arms are held out. Slumped and droopy shoulders are a big no-no and change the entire posture of a model.
How long does a runway show last?
Several factors decide the length of a fashion show. Some of these include the number of designers and the styles a fashion show is set to feature. In some cases, a fashion show ends pretty late when it doesn’t start on time. That’s because getting attendees to sit down can be the same as herding cats. Some audience members are catching up with friends or colleagues they haven’t met in a while others are busy making and re-kindling connections.
What is the difference between a runway and a catwalk?
Designers and fashion models recruit models who can easily fit the clothes, which are displayed in the fashion show. That’s because they do not make clothes to fit the models. Runway modeling or catwalk modeling presents a designer’s work in front of an extensive audience. Models have to walk down a long platform and impress a broad audience comprising of industry people, all while wearing the designer’s collection.
Runway and catwalk modeling are the same. But female catwalk or runway models are typically a minimum of 5 feet 9 inches. The taller they are, the better. All catwalk or runway models must boast precise measurements to fit the clothes that designers are showcasing to the clients. If you want to be a runway model you need to have a 23-inch waist, with bust and hip measurements no greater than 34 inches.
Designers and runway show organizers prefer working with models who have well-proportioned figures to fit sample gloves, shoes, and clothes. That’s one of the reasons petite models are booked more all major runway fashion events.
Some catwalk models come from diverse backgrounds. Most models are professional dancers or athletes. However, runway models must be photogenic since they are photographed for the most popular fashion magazines. In a nutshell, a runway or catwalk model is the perfect blend of style and grace to look great on a magazine cover. Combining fashion and movement to create the perfect image in front of hundreds of viewers is an art, which every model masters to be a part of a successful runway show.
The popularity of runway shows has risen rapidly, becoming one of the most happening events in the fashion industry. Runway shows offer great incentives to budding and seasoned designers for showcasing their work and building brand loyalty.
Fashion allows people of all races, backgrounds, countries, and ages to come together and celebrate their unique style. Organizing a fashion show requires a great deal of brainstorming, plenty of resources, and solid planning. It is a result of the creative thought-process of various people. Behind every jaw-dropping runway look, there are dedicated endless hours of blood and sweat.