STYLE BY LONDON: Producing a fashion show

BY VERSHAWN LONDON

“Many hours go into creating a successful fashion show and you only have one shot to get it right. Wardrobe stylists, makeup artists and hairstylists are in integral part of any fashion team and help create and define the designer’s vision. Get inside information from emerging fashion designers who have participated in local and national fashion weeks for some quick tips can always be helpful. Trial and error can also have its place.” – Fashion Mingle

This month marks the 23rd year of producing fashion shows for me. I have had many successful runs but it was the flops that made me want to do it all over again.

The road to success for me when I’m producing a fashion show comes from proper planning. I often tell myself don’t take your experience for granted. Each new production is like a new child you are trying to birth into the universe. Each production comes with a new list of demands and requirements.

One must consider the goal of the event. Is it a fundraiser with an amazing cause attached or is it a showcase featuring new designers? Whatever the reason, you must work long and hard to bring the vision to fruition to meet the need of the client.

This past week I had the pleasure of producing the annual fashion show fundraiser for the Spring Valley NAACP Youth Council of Spring Valley. The show, now in its fifth year, ended up in production for four months due to the bad winter we had.

Many hours of hard work went into the production. Rehearsal times started out on Tuesdays and eventually became Tuesdays and Thursdays. We had six weeks of castings to try and recruit interested students from the community and the school to be in the show. It was a challenge to manage them all and keep them informed each week at rehearsals on the progress of the show.

As a producer my job doesn’t end at the rehearsal, during the week I’m making phone calls and constantly negotiating sponsorship from merchants in the community. As it gets closer to the event the producer has to know how many looks the models will wear based on the sponsorship of the merchants and or designers.

Staging, vendor tables, a DJ and lighting technicians are only but a few details to sort out as the show date approaches. Photographers, videographers and step and repeat banners to show your sponsors that you are advertising their businesses as promised are other important factors to the show’s overall success.

Wait, have we discussed marketing and ticket distribution? Oh yeah, that’s paramount if you want to make money or have someone to showcase the clothes to.

The day of the show we’re running around trying to pick up clothes from the sponsors and renting trucks to transport all of the staging and the clothing in. Hostesses are in their place and the programs for the show line up are folded neatly. The first guest has arrived and the back stage is all a buzz.

It’s show-time people and all of your hard work will now be on display to be critiqued. Passion, hard work and dedication will have paid off if you have stuck to your original vision.

For fashion tips and advice contact Vershawn London at www.fashionhouseoflondon.com or 845-641-3229. And remember to Love the Skin you’re in.