Fashion Weeks are the most anticipated events of the year for everyone in the fashion industry. Be it the designers, photographers, fashion critiques, bloggers, models, makeup artists, or investors, these fashion weeks give the best opportunity to showcase everything they have been working on during the last year. Fashion designers work their fullest to put up a show that exhibits their upcoming line of clothes.
Fashion shows are arranged every season, focusing mainly on the spring-summer and fall-winter transitions. Two of the biggest fashion shows are the ones that take place during fashion week in Paris and New York. The other most significant fashion shows that everyone in the fashion industry works for are the Milan, Berlin, and London fashion weeks.
What are Fashion Shows?
Though there is nothing to be explained about an event that is crazily followed by enthusiasts and fashion fanatics, breaking down a typical fashion show in simple words might look like:
“A typical fashion show is wherein the models dressed in various clothes representing different designers walk the catwalk. These shows are brightly illuminated with various forms of lighting, depending on the theme, and special effects.”
We all have seen what a fashion show is like: it is highly posh with numerous models walking down the runway, setting up standards that are ravishing in every sense. However, this article is set out to tell you more than what you see. So, let’s unravel some truths about these fashion shows that you might not have known.
Interesting Facts about Fashion Shows
1. They Work the Whole Year-Round For a Week
Clothes and their designs are not the only things that have to be worked upon the whole year for showcasing at the fashion shows. The set of the fashion show, music, lighting, makeup, hair, and design work – all are pre-planned.
From one fashion week to another, the fashion designers, set designers, music creators, stage managers, music masters, and more people work with one goal: to show their best in fashion week.
For all the hard work that is put in, the crux of the fashion show is not more than 15 minutes – give or take.
2. There is Food Backstage
Do not be fooled by the petite and extremely thin bodies of the supermodels on whom everything fits like a glove. Apart from the soda, water, and snacks being passed around that you might notice in the footages, there is big food table set backstage. It has everything that you can eat like crazy – including fresh fruits, cheese, sandwiches, vegetables, tea, juice, cookies, etc.
3. Models are Not Allowed to Smile
How often have you seen a model smiling on the runway during a catwalk? Probably seldom! The reason behind this is that the models are not allowed to smile. The designers specifically instruct their models to not smile for the camera on the runway. Maybe, it is because the designers want nothing to steal the attention from their clothes or designs – even the model’s smile.
4. The Order in Which Models Walk in the Show
It is the designer only who decides the order of the models walking on the runway. Factually, the opening and the closing spots for models on runways are the most sought-after and prestigious spots. These are usually reserved for the biggest top models that the designer has hired.
Some big names in the fashion industry only work if they are offered these spots in the lineup. Who comes in the middle is not usually paid much attention. All the eyes are set, and cameras flash at the models opening or closing a show for their designers. Models who need a kick-start in their early modeling career usually agree to fill in the middle spots.
5. Pressure for Curvier Models Is Rising
It is a widely-known fact that modeling agencies have been hiring skinny models for a long time. This issue is taking a toll on social media and elsewhere as people around the globe are voicing their concern for unrealistic beauty standards these fashion shows are setting.
However, interestingly, IMG Models, one of the leading global modeling agencies, is planning to include curvier and plus-sized models on the runways.
6. Models Do Not Get to Keep the Clothes
Fashion shows are just what the name suggests – a show for exhibiting upcoming designer clothes. A fashion show is only a preliminary insight into the collection – which is still months away from being up for mass production or sales. So, the models do not get to keep the clothes they wear on the runways. The only clothes that designers give away are some of the pieces from the older collection and that too if the models are new and agree on trade instead of being paid for their work.
7. Not all Models are Paid Heavily
If you thought that every model you see on the catwalk is paid heavily, you have to have another thought coming. Yes, supermodels and bigshots of the industry are paid hefty amounts for opening or closing the shows; however, newer models are not paid that much.
Often, the brands hire supermodels on a contract that binds them to work for one designer only. In this case, big brands like Chanel or Dior pay loads of money to the models. Less established models take this opportunity to start their careers with the best in hand. These are usually hired by small brands that lack the budget to pay for the models.
8. Tickets Are Not Up For Sale
The most interesting and sought-after query about fashion shows is about the tickets. The tickets to these shows are never up for sale. They are only handed out to the ones who are invited. So, unless you are in a PR team, a participant in the management team, work for a designer, or an assistant to the photographer, etc., you cannot get tickets.
9. Designers Walking Down the Runway
You must have seen various designers accompanying their opening or closing models, walking down the runway themselves, waving at the camera, and receiving applause. This practice is purely a matter of personal preference and not a custom. Some designers love the attention and want to make themselves known, while others do not prefer the limelight.
10. Designers Forecast Trends
Have you wondered how designers come up with various trends – such as the flared pants or the long maxi dresses? They take help from professional trend forecasters, who observe the public, common fashion, need for a change, and public’s appraisal for a trend. Sometimes, designers think that a trend needs to be revived, and they do so by basing their whole clothing line on it.
Most of the time, the designers aspire and work toward setting a new trend altogether because if they are established enough, anything they showcase in the show becomes an instant hit.
Fashion Shows Set the Trend
Let us end this article by stating a fact that is important to mention. All the fashion trends in the fashion industry are mostly started or ended by fashion shows. They initiate a trend and then take a complete 360 degree turn the next year and change it. This implies that the fashion reign is in the hands of the designers.
However, the most important thing to remember is that a trend is successful only if it sells – which places the ball into the consumers’ court. Even if fashion shows set the trend, but the society does not pick it or rejects it, it is probably a dead end.