Fashion shows are quite the spectacle. There’s the stage, the lighting, the music, and the designers; everything seems to work altogether. When watching these shows, we, the audience don’t see what goes into what actually happens behind the scenes; what all happens to bring the show together?
To crack this code and uncover the secret behind how the fashion industry does what it does.
We were able to get backstage access to the Fashion Pakistan Week right before the first day of the event kicked off.
When we got there, there was a LOT happening. From seats being reserved for certain special guests to models being told how to walk for a particular designer; it was all going down. There was one man who was very clearly in charge of the whole shebang. Nubain Ali, the show director, was all over the ramp. He didn’t only have to worry about the timing of the models’ walk down the ramp, he also had to manage the choreography between lighting, music and the pace of the ramp walk.
It would be easy if he had one template to use across designers but really that was not the case.
He had to accommodate each designer, their collection and how they were seeing their collection being showcased. For example, with Zainab Chottani, the theme was to have happy brides and happy bridals, while with the ‘Pink Tree Company’, the message was of empowerment, thereby making sure that the models had to have fierce expressions and demeanors.
Other than that, the timings with the light had to be perfect, with spotlights coming on time and having the main lights switching on at the perfect time. These are just some of the logistics of a fashion show you never think of while you’re sitting in the audience.
After spending some time at the ramp, we headed to the makeup and wardrobe area, backstage.
There were huge mirrors, lights on either side, with hair and makeup artists running around the models getting them ready on time. The pressures in this area were just on a whole other level. The message from the ramp was that ‘the show must go on’, so the team had three days of continuously working in tight time constraints, making sure models are out in time to get on the ramp effortlessly while looking absolutely flawless.
Speaking to the people at Nabila’s and N Gents, they revealed that they had 5 minutes or less to make sure models were ready and set to go. Again they had to accommodate each designer and their requirements and since models were walking for multiple designers, they had to create a base look that they could build up or down according to the designer’s requirements while keeping time in mind. So, to say it was quite the challenge, would be an understatement.
Fashion shows are usually seen as an exercise in glitz and glam, however, it is so much more than that.
The show has a lot of moving parts, and the people involved in the show need to make sure everything happens on time, and more importantly, it happens flawlessly and fabulously. A fashion show is not just about the glam of the final ramp walk, it’s about the show director’s vision, the coordination of all the teams involved and it’s eventually also about fashion.