• Vyy Bui

FASHION SHOW CHECKLIST (P.1)

Continuing from the fashion event organization blog post, today I will go into depth the steps to organizing a Fashion Show.


Known as a creative playground for designers and also the staple event of the fashion industry, how does a Fashion Show come to life? Let’s find out!

IMAGE: @CHANEL

1. DETERMINE THE VISION AND GOALS

Why do you want a fashion show? When you establish the purpose of a runway show, you will have a strong foundation to enact the next organizational steps. Aside from this, a clear purpose will help you and your committee stay on the right track and maintain your original core vision. Below are some goals that brands/organizations often set for themselves when organizing a Fashion Show:

  • Releasing the newest collection of the designer/brand.

  • Raising the awareness of a brand.

  • Raising the awareness of the cultural, social or environmental issues that the theme of the collection conveys.

  • Raising charity.

  • Advertising a new brand.

  • Fostering relationships with influential figures related to fashion.

  • An annual event of a club/business to spread the passion for fashion.

  • Graduation event.

IMAGE: @PROENZASCHOULDER

Fashion shows today are not simply a stage with lights and eye-catching costumes. Designers and brands are constantly pushing the boundaries of creativity with countless ideas and ambitious goals. The show itself is the core factor that helps you build the concept of the performed collection.


2. SETLIST OF THE COLLECTION

Apparel of a fashion show can be designed by an individual/organization or gathered from other designers/brands for performance.


If you are organizing as a club or a brand and the clothes are designed by a member of the club or the brand owner, depending on the size of the show, you need to come up with ideas and concepts for the collection first. That's a relatively long time. Typically, a student club will need less time to prepare than a fashion business that has a certain event arena.

IMAGE: @ARTSTHREAD

In my experience, if you are organizing in a student fashion club, you need to have a confirmed subject for your event collection at least 5-6 months before the day of the show. The rest of the time is spent designing, choosing materials, shooting photos and running marketing strategies. However, with a well-known designer or a commercial brand, the process of concept brainstorming and researching as well as developing ideas needs to be done at least 6 months to a year in advance. Other than preparing for a fashion show, that brand needs to run their business at the same time and the process of verifying, editing, and modeling accessories is not as fast as we often think.


There are sources that say that it only takes 1-4 months to prepare costumes for a fashion show. Perhaps, depending on the economic potential, relationships and conditions of each place, the time of preparation for the event will also be different. However, only when you truly experience this development process can you witness how many problems could arise, especially during pandemic time. Whether it’s yours or someone else’s design, establish the show’s concept/theme and pick the outfits that suit it most. Is it ready-to-wear or haute couture? Or do you want something in between? Confirm what the expected outcomes are so the event is consistent.


3. ECONOMIC FACTORS

IMAGE: @BEISTRAVEL

Deciding on a budget is essential when organizing any event and fashion shows are no exception. It is one of the first things you need in your Fashion Show checklist. Plan a budget range for every step of the organization process. This benefits a clear and concise outline of what to do when inviting sponsors and media sponsors, in addition to the production of media products of the show, publications such as catalogs, posters , backdrop… Economic transparency is important in fashion show planning, especially when it’s a non-profit charity event!


IMAGE: @BEISTRAVEL

Other than that, entry fees are a way to gain profit for a charity event. Ticket sales should provide enough for the event and meet the economic or charity goals. So, what does a fashion show need funding for?

  • Agency (optional)

  • Show arena (location, runway stage, lighting and sound tech, etc.)

  • Human resources (catwalk director, photographers, models, makeup team, partners,...)

  • Production (collection lineup, raw materials, accessories,..)

  • Media (photoshoots, ticket sales, posters, publications, advertisements, etc.)

  • Misc spendings


4. CHOOSING THE DATE & LOCATION

Places are the backdrop for designers to express their vision. Therefore, finding the right location is essential. The displayed collection is one of the most important factors in deciding the location of the fashion show. This is shown through the purpose, theme of the collection, as well as the spirit of the show.


One of the first things to consider when choosing a venue is size: is it appropriate for the magnitude of the show? Will it be enough to stage the catwalk as planned? Whether it's an intimate event for 50 people or a large-scale event broadcasted nationwide, it should come with a suitable venue.

IMAGE: @PRADA

Besides, determining the organizational timeline is really important. That is the factor that affects the entire show preparation process. If the timeline is not clear, activities from production, communication to sponsoring become relatively vague and can delay the fixed date. However, with the current pandemic conditions, we can only improvise and monitor the situation to find the most reasonable options. That's why so many international fashion shows have moved online. Although the experience is not as vivid and physical, there are also many attractive online side events about fashion held.


5. RUNWAY STAGE AND SET DESIGN

IMAGE: @VOGUE

You need to use as much creative brain juice as possible when designing a runway stage. Your design must reflect the fashion designers’ visions to result in a complete and harmonious show. Set design can also be minimal with white lighting like the majority of international runways. It can also be set up based on the theme of the collection. There are many ways you can combine various factors for the ideal fashion show and these are some suggestions to help you.

  • The lighting must not change the colors of the designs. You may consider Gel colors, LED lights or transitional lighting to make the show effects more alluring.

  • Predetermine the shape of your catwalk (in the letter U, T, X, arches or straight paths,...)

  • Backdrop or LED screens for visual effect

  • Pick the right playlist for the collection with the appropriate bass


6. GUEST LIST/INVITEES


A fashion show is not only successful because of the outstanding performance of the collection, but also because of the presence of influential figures appearing there. Fashion shows are a valuable opportunity to advertise the brand/designer/organization.

IMAGE: @STYLECASTER

Under the flashy lights, the outstanding collection with special invitees create the potential of a memorable and iconic show in the media and fashion field. By inviting experts and micro/macro influencers, you create an intricate web of communication through your fashion show. Of course, the committee has to pick and choose which influential figures fit their artistic vision of the show in order to invite them. Having a concrete invitation list constitutes the seating plan of the show. VIP and honorary guests or sponsors will often get the first row in the audience.


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