As I mentioned here, I helped out backstage at the Lala Berlin show during Copenhagen fashion week. I helped out as a dresser – which is what it sounds like. I dressed a model. Of course every little detail about the look was already decided by Leyla, the designer. And why does the model need someone to dress them, you ask? Well let me tell you.
A fashion show might only last for about 20 minutes, maybe 30, on the runway. That’s all you see as a guest. But actually everyone backstage has been there for 5 hours or more. The models have been in the chair for at least 3 hours, having their make-up, nails, hair, skin done perfectly. They might change the nail polish twice if it wasn’t what they thought. The hair is often thought really through. I mean literally every single hair is placed correctly. Then they (the hairstylists) chat both with the model and with each other – something that’s really nice. It creates a great atmosphere for everyone.
At som point the model are being called to the runway. A walking test, if we can call it that. They havde to make sure that everything from the lightning to the models walk and facial expressions are just right. The more complicated the runway is, the more they have to practise. And these tests obviously has to be done in the shoes they’re gonna wear at the show – which means stilletos most of the time. When that’s done, back in the chair.
We, the dressers, really have nothing to do until about 1,5 hours before the show. We just have to be there to help – move boxes, steam the clothes, drink coffee or eat some of the food on set (really a difficult task.. to eat.. oh the irony..). But yeah, we aren’t really needed that much until later. I used my time to shoot some photos of the models getting ready and the runway and so on.
At some point I was given a model, who I should dress. My model had 3 looks, where some of the other models only had 1 or 2. Because of that another dresser came to help me and we nailed it together. The model was Regitze (on the right photo below), a rising star! Super sweet girl who opened the show. We were all shown how the look should end up being, in which ear the earrings should be, how the boots should be tied and so on. A lot of details, which really matters to the designer.
During the show it’s a bit hectic. Your model comes to you after a walk on the runway, she has 20-30 seconds to change into a completely different look and then off she goes again. You can relax for about 30 seconds and then you’re on again. When the show is finished everybody gather up backstage and break into applause – to the designer, the models, the entire team. And then – a billion people enters to have a quick chat with everyone who matters and snap some photos. Afterwards the whole setup was taken down and the area was cleaned up.
And tadaaa – that’s how a fashion show actually works (behind the scenes), but of course there’s a lot more work to it than I experienced. I hope you found it just a bit interesting, because the real deal was! I met the most beautiful models, the greatest hair and make-up stylists and I spent the whole day side by side with Uffe Buchard and Kim Grenaa – the danish fashion bosses. Amazing!