Have you ever wondered what it's like to be backstage at London Fashion Week?
The glamour, the creativity, the FROW.
But is it all as shiny as it looks?
I've been fortunate enough to dress backstage at London Fashion Week for a number of years for couture designers, sustainable brands as well as menswear collections.
This year I've worked on commercial fashion shows at The NEC, Breast Cancer Now and The Trafford Centre, Manchester.
In today's blog I'm revealing three backstage secrets with you...
There is no time! You might think your mornings are hectic and there's never enough time to get ready - but backstage at a fashion show is so chaotic and fast-paced that once you've read this you'll never think you don't have enough time in the mornings again!
Did you know that the average fashion show lasts for just 20 x minutes?!
There has been so much planning, passion and preparation gone into each designers collection with hours of creative design, fabric selections, seamstresses etc that on the day of the actual fashion show all that energy is focused into one 20-minute show! There can be anything from 20 to 70 looks within one show with changes happening in less than 30-seconds, yet the model looks effortless and beautiful once they hit that catwalk!
My experiences have taught me that remaining calm amidst the storm is a tonic not only to those around me but has also helped me manage my time and expectations when I am with a personal styling client.
So my clients benefit from and discover all my expert tools and tips to making getting ready in the mornings a breeze - even if you have slightly more time than 30 x seconds, effortless style is yours for the taking!
The Glamour? You've seen the highlights of London Fashion Week and the backstage images of the Hadid sisters glowing after Victoria Beckham's recent Paris shows yet the reality is not all it might seem!
A models job is to make the clothes look incredible, ultimately selling them to consumers,
A-listers and department stores! Due to the fast pace and often limited space, backstage is chaotic, high-energy, fast-paced, a team effort (it has to be!) and of course hugely exciting.
Our job as dressers is to help the model make exceptionally quick changes, ensuring all the clothes, shoes and often multiple accessories look exactly as they should as specified by the designer, stylist and team. Precision is key amidst chaos and this means with each 20-30 x second outfit change everything is checked before each model hits the runway by the Wardrobe Mistress (that's me!)
With commercial fashion shows there are often up to eight changes per model, per show with perhaps eight models upwards and there can be five shows a day, running every hour! So you can imagine that with each outfit change which is completed at a crazy pace, initially clothes are everywhere and once the model leaves each rail needs to be tidied, accessories and shoes in the right place, repairs completed if necessary, steamed and ready to go again!
So if you ever thought your wardrobe was a mess and too embarrassing to share with me - think again! I have literally seen it all and nothing phases me - in fact it excites me as I know I can help you style your wardrobe into shape with my expertise and passion for firing up joy and connection when getting ready each day! Find out more here...
Connection I adore being part of team and as my role backstage is Wardrobe Mistress (how genius is this title?!), I look after all the dressers many of whom are fashion students and have never done anything like this before. It is a baptism of fire and it's really inspiring that we go from being a group of strangers to a close knit team very quickly, all working together to create an effortless change for our models.
I always say to the team that we are all integral to the show - without the models we have no show, without the clothes we have no show and without the dressers and the backstage team we have no show.
It might seem crazy that a model needs a dresser but often the clothes and accessories are multi-layered, particularly for autumn/winter fashion shows, highly expensive fabrics which need to be treated with care and respect and the changes as you've seen, are crazy quick!
One of the most challenging shows I have worked on involved corsets, laced boots and dressers who were ill leaving me dressing three models in succession! My heart was literally pounding in my chest and my fingers were raw afterwards with all the lacing - I don't think I will ever forget that experience as long as I live ;)
Anyone thinking a models life is easy - think again! They work incredibly hard making everything look effortless, walk in often very uncomfortable shoes and with a recent show I worked on it took four of us to get a particular dress on and off our model and she had to bend and twist like an acrobat to get into it in 24 x seconds but we did it and she looked INSANE on the catwalk!
Working backstage is hugely rewarding and also gives me such great insight into trends,
designers, brands, sustainability and how I can share this expert information with my styling clients to make it relevant and inspiring for them.
Whilst most of us sadly won't ever experience strutting our stuff on the catwalk, we can all
benefit from understanding and embracing our personal style - so if you'd like to boss your mornings, enjoy your wardrobe, know exactly what suits you then check out my styling services which are offered in-person, as 1:1 online experiences and as group workshops online, see below or simply drop me a line at email@example.com
Or book in a Complimentary Discovery Call to find out more!