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 our inaugural edition of “How Fashion Week Gets Made,” Richard Chai, who will show his men’s and women’s collections together on Thursday, and was just named creative director at Filson, tells us about his design process, lack of sleep and reveals the location of his after party.
How do you handle designing both a men’s and women’s collection? Are you working on both simultaneously?
It’s a bit of switching gears, but there’s always an underlining mood that overlaps. I am currently working on both simultaneously.
What stage of the design process are you in now?
Final fittings on the designs that have yet to be made into samples.
What does an average day look like for you right now, from start to finish?
Fittings, fittings and more fittings.
What does show day look like for you from start to finish?
No sleep, finish the final fit corrections, make the last of the model boards, coordinate all the final pieces on the racks, pack up the racks of clothes, arrive backstage, pre-show press interviews, making sure hair and make up is perfect, pre-show rehearsal, sound test, lighting test, dress models in first looks, show begins, shows over, post-show press interviews, lunch with my family, sleep.
What are you most nervous and/or excited about?
No matter how many shows I’ve done, there are always pre-show nerves. I’m really excited about my new collaboration with Filson and Palladium. The styles look incredible! It’s also my first time doing an after party which will be sponsored by Effen Vodka at Red Egg.
What is the most challenging part of the fashion week process?
The constant and never ending quest to make it perfect all while sleeping little to none.
What is the best part?
The coming together of all the parts from the styling, to hair and makeup. I always love being backstage watching it all line up before it starts and then the final walk of all the models.
What’s the first thing you do once your show is over?
After all the press interviews and backstage greetings, I always have lunch with my family. It’s the best way to kick myself back into reality.