Stylist Sally Lyndley has put together an amazing guide to producing a runway show. See her first three installments–Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3–before reading this.
By the time the show comes around, I begin to feel like it’s time to let the chips fall as they may. All of the hard work of the designer and team, producers, casting director, publicist and stylist has finally come together. Months of preparation lead up to a 12-minute show. I put on my game face and one of my favorite outlandish (but comfortable) outfits and head to the show.
Once I get to the venue, the first thing I always do is check in with the designer and styling assistant team to make sure the collection is all present and accounted for. Then my mission is to find the casting director and find out how many models have arrived and how many we are missing. Next, I stop in and give a big hello kiss to the hair stylist and makeup artist working with us on the show. Being in fashion show production, I love to go out to the front and participate in the lighting check and sound check after I know clothing, models and hair and makeup are all underway. I know this drives the production team crazy, but I like to make sure the designer’s vision is complete and that the models are set up to look their most gorgeous.
Waiting for the show to start is the most agonizing part for me. I will sit in hair and makeup and watch to make sure the models look the way they are supposed to. If the hair or makeup is off from the concept the makeup artist or hair stylist created, I grab the model and take them to the team leader to be re-done. We didn’t do all this hard work to have a model walking with bad hair.
The “day of show” for a stylist consists mostly of last minute decisions, i.e. sunglasses come in two hours before the show so you need to place them on looks, or choosing a color for the model’s manicure/pedicure. I find the show day to be mostly a problem solving day.
On one show I produced years ago, I remember a rehearsal where over half of the shoes in the show broke. The heels were not designed properly and when the models trotted out in them for the walk-thru, the heels started popping off one by one. The stylist and I (as the managing producer) spent the next hour, up to the minute the show started, making the remaining 10 unbroken shoes work for the whole show, being passed from model to model for all sixty-five looks. It was madness. Stylists are the ones that the designers rely on to create solutions when the crap hits the fan backstage. All that being said, the calm of Buddha is needed to get through the show powerfully; it takes ease mixed with an unwillingness to let the show be anything but great. Luckily for me, Antonio Azzuolo is very organized, and there were no fashion emergencies or last minute dramas for us to deal with this season.
Once the show is over, I again give my big hug and kisses to the designer and the design team, my assistant team, models, casting director, the hair stylist, the makeup artist, the producer, the publicist– everyone! Saying “thank you” to everyone who worked so hard on the show is so important to me. Fashion is a team sport and no stylist could accomplish anything without an amazing team with which to play.
The last part of the show process is reading the reviews. If my client gets amazing reviews across the board, I feel like my job is done. If the reviews are less then stellar, I take a look at what I can be responsible for in the process and how I can improve in the future. Antonio got stellar reviews this season, and we have already been working for the past couple months on the inspiration for the next collection in September.
See Antonio Azzuuolo’s final Fall 2011 show, styled by Sally, on Style.com!