A lot goes into making fashion week happen. And despite the proliferation of fashion reality television shows, there is still a lot that you might not know about. So, we decided to ask some of our friends in the industry what their day to day life is like leading up to, during and following fashion week. From the perspective of a designer, a publicist, a show producer, a pit photographer, a makeup artist and more, keep reading to learn how fashion week gets made.
For this installment of “How Fashion Week Gets Made,” we interviewed Gayle Dizon, head of Dizon Inc, an event production company that produces some of the biggest and best shows at fashion week. We know Gayle from our How I’m Making It panel discussion last year and she is one smart, successful and powerful lady. Here, she tells us about the amazing clients she works with, her year-round prep work, balancing work and family life and more.
What shows are you working on for NYFW?
Creatures of the Wind, Rachel Comey, Tess Giberson, Monique Lhuillier, Thakoon, J. Mendel, Milly, L’Wren Scott, Bill Blass, and Proenza Schouler
How long before fashion week do you start preparing? What goes into that?
We are working year-round for our ongoing clients on venue and talent research, time slot negotiation, and music and set inspiration. But, the real detailed logistics are getting hammered out in the two months prior to the show.
What does an average day look like for you right now?
Up at 6am, make breakfast for the family, get kids off to school, checking email and news in between all the various activities.
I’m usually in the office by 8 or 8:30am and going strong until about 7 or 8pm, it’s non-stop meetings, problem solving, and research. Our team likes to break for an early lunch, so we all have a moment to sit together and debrief each other on the respective shows over a meal.
If I don’t have a work dinner, I’m home to read to the kids and help my husband get them to bed. Then, I get back on the computer to check emails and work for a couple more hours. I’m usually asleep by midnight.
What does an average day look like for you on a show day?
We typically have more than one show in an average day during fashion week, so there’s a lot of running between venues, checking lighting and set and giving my final approval. I have a great team of producers working on each job, so everything’s usually in great shape by the time I arrive at the venue. Along with checking all the technical elements, I also touch base with our backstage teams on hair & make-up status and reviewing the run of show, quick changes, things I need to be aware of while calling the show. After the show is done, our team meets to make sure the load-out is under control, then I’m off to the next one. It’s not uncommon to have a 20 hour day during fashion week.
What is the biggest disaster/scare you’ve come up against over the years?
Nothing that we haven’t been able to find a solution for. The only things that are real disasters are the natural ones, like a hurricane or blizzard, but we always put our heads together to make sure the show goes on.
What is the most challenging aspect of fashion week for you and your team?
Staying hydrated and enjoying the moment.
What is the most fun aspect?
Those 6-8 minutes when I’m calling the show and we are all seeing how the months of hard work come together.
What’s the first thing you do once fashion week is over?