Pre-Show: Build a Team
Building the team this is so huge you can't you can't do a show without a team and we're going to go down the list of the different people you're going to need to get there we'll talk a little bit about who you might want to connect with and how so the talent this is the actual creative team the designer maybe the people the other designers you might be collaborating with sort of ah shoe designer had designer jewelry designer so really the people who are creating the actual content for the show then you have the models oh let me just say a lot of people forget about that ironically that first team even though that's the point of the whole show it gets so wrapped up in a production that you forget that they're a part of the equation even if it's you because you're so concerned with all the other elements so take a moment take a breath, take a step back and remember that you are an important part of that that process the models now everybody has a different strategy with models and actua...
lly we have some examples here from one of the local agencies and pushpins thank you and one of the first things you want to do is you can do it digitally we got comp cards when I'm a little old school models will put together a comp card where you know there is a head shot and then there are maybe four different looks to show their range. And as a designer, you want to go through these head shots. You want to get a feel for what they look like? Oh, yes. Hotel told two examples. So this is a version of the the full head shots. So, you know, you get their name, you get their agency, and then you get versions of their identities. You know who they can morph into. So, you know, there's, usually ah, body shot to show, you know, to show that they can be athletic or for laundry and things like that. They have an athletic shot. They have a high fashion shot, amore catalogue shot. So there's going to be a whole range of things depending on what the model is kind of wants to take on in terms of their modelling career. And these could be a little deceptive, and they can be a little out of date sometimes. So one of the things with with models you want to always make sure that you take your own measurements and you take on you, figure out how tall they really are on dh one of the things that little tricks that I do's we have, uh a tape measure taped to the wall and when they come in they need to take off their shoes and we get an accurate measurement because sometimes it may be an issue to have the models all the same height so you really can't go by the cards because they might be that heightened heels are close to it our a little over so little things like that are going to play into I think getting back to that with the making sort of your pattern making because they need to it's kind of a cinderella thing where they need to fit a certain form some designers that's not an issue it's really about other things so I'm going to move ahead just one second and will come back but what is the most important? What is most important to you about the models you're working with? So with this we need to ask ourselves when we have this range and I was going to put a put up a couple of these so we have you want to get them in front of you almost like you did with your mood board and remember also when we were doing our sketches we were trying to create an identity for our crow key here's a live representation of that and it doesn't always have to be an exact match because you can have the essence of a girl and she could be all different skin tones all different hairstyles but she represents a certain audience yes can you define croak e for folks who have been with us the whole time? Yes, s o crow key is a term in sketching and technically it's a french word and technically technically amused finished drawing but over the years in fashion schools especially it's come to mean the figure so I kind of used it that way technically in france you know it would be in the entire sketch but that figure or that mannequin who is going to be carrying your clothes into the world so all right, so and these air great cause uh the's have a real range, right? So as I said, you always want to meet the models after you've gone through this process but this is a good sorting process. This is an editing process like we talked about earlier so we hear we have, um some beautiful young women, but they're all very, very distinct and you want to ask yourself which ones might be able to transform into your look because they're all beautiful but they all are saying something kind of with their the focus of their photographs so some of them are definitely playing up sort of being sexy and voluptuous some of them are playing up there they haven't edgier side and even if you have your aesthetic is that the classic beauty to throw a couple of, uh, unusual or unexpected types for your category is a really good thing to do, so if I was doing bridal, I might, you know, again go for more classics, but think about how I can put that punctuation in there because that could be your awe, like all of a sudden, you have a bald model or have a model with a crew cut, you know, something, hairstyle wise, that would just be a little, you know, a little jarring, but just is beautiful and you can make that really powerful, so of these models and not to put the models on the spot, are you on the spot? But for instance, like, right away, do you see anyone who feels like you're special occasion, where one on the far lower left has a very fresh, very fresh, youthful look? So if I were designing primarily for a youthful bride, she that would definitely be the type, but in fact, I work more with mature brides, and so I would I don't see anybody up there that is a great point quite what I have in my mind, I think it would be somebody older, edgier with more of ah presents not so much a personnel empty somebody with a real personality who has a stronger sense of herself already without the layering of the makeup and and that is something in the modeling industry I mean, even though there's a range of younger models who have become personalities and you, you know, you get them, you hire them to your shows because they're the funny one or the syria, the funky one, you know? And they have an attitude, but but also the age is an important factor. We didn't specify what age range, so this is all probably that sweet spot for most models, you know, probably team early, late teens, early twenties, and this is important because if you know your audience and you're sending out, you know, you know, your audience is a little bit older, and you're sending out teens and early twenties that's going to turn off the audience almost immediately because they're going to go pretty dress, but, you know, why is a teenager wearing it and on that may not be your actual market? You know, if you're doing party dresses that are after your special occasion, that are maybe designed for a younger audience, you can bring that in. I remember going to an oscar de la renta show and where he had this whole influx of younger models, but it was because he had done a part of his collection that seemed geared for that younger audience because he felt that the his original customer now is maturing and her daughter and her granddaughter were coming into the fold in terms of you know, buying dela renta and and and I'm guessing at this because I don't know oscar but just from what I saw it seems like that was a strategy like you know, showing the mics on stage was really key so that's a really valid valid point because you want to consider the age and also the mix because you know do you have different skin tones, different hair textures even different body types you don't necessarily want everyone to be the same frame if that's not a part of your aesthetic and your customer base okay, so um okay so let's get back to our list hair and makeup this is actually we can go back to the board here because this is a really cool range of hair and makeup we have very classic traditional sort of model looks but but here I mean her eyebrows amazing what whatever the makeup artist did to create this little sort of effect of sort of haphazard brows I'm sure they were kind of inserted a cz well is a simple little detail that becomes the look of a show and we talked about that with the mood boards how important it is to think ahead so you can give your makeup person and your hair person direction and if you look at her makeup you know, it's, a mat makeup is very fair, and the accent it allows that eyebrow to pop and the same thing, even with their hair it's clean, it's almost the color of her skin. It's pulled back and it's all about this freshness, but with an edge, and it could be a simple strategy. Is that to undertake when you're working with hair and makeup? Yes, a question for you going back, teo models, because such a huge part I mean, as all of these things are, but are there do do casting calls like what have actual sort of things that you do and on all these challenges finding the right models? Well, it depends on your needs, and it isn't just the esthetic need. But when you that's why, I said, you want to meet them live and you would do a casting in, uh, and you have before you do a casting, you really have to ask yourself, what is the most important thing and what will she be doing? You can have beautiful, beautiful girls who cannot walk. And I cannot walk it's like not walking style that you want, and then you also have models who will walk in a style that you don't want. I mean, that's sort of affected like I remember I have this aversion to this little pony walk, you know, it's like very stumpy and it's it's cute, and it serves its purpose. But, you know, for most shows it's distracting, so you wantto learn those things I had models I say to them, why are you doing that? And they're like, oh, it's, my signature, not so much, you know, you might think so, but the whole point of models that you want to transform for whatever you need and become the perfect ideal for that at least I think so. And but because more and more models are becoming personality driven that's coming up more and more, but you have to ask yourselves, what do you want? You wanted her walk? Does she need to be the right size? Does she have to be sort of a motive? Like, does she have to look like she's smiling? Because a lot of fashion is very dead pen, you know, very serious, but if you're a designer and you want this sort of athletic, earthy, fun field I've worked for athletic companies before and the hardest thing working with the models is getting them to have a good time on stage and jump around and feel sporty and, you know, be really physical because they're so used to that serious no dead pen look so you have to ask yourself when you meet them live because this is the starting point what you want from them and then you know, decide that because you can fall in love with a picture but then that person needs to actually walk and sometimes, you know, respond in ways on the runway. So all right, the stylist we talked about giving up a little control and letting someone interpret your work but you don't have to do that in a huge way to have a stylist on your team a lot of times your stylist could help you keep the look consistent and bringing elements that enhance so if you say all I want on the girls is like three huge chunky bracelets you know, like for every outfit I just want that's the only accessory I want then you can work with the stylist to come up with what that means it's you know, maybe they look very ethnic or maybe they look very plastic, you know, like futuristic, whatever it is and silas is out in the world, you know, and constantly scanning for for content, so they're really useful ally in this whole process and a lot of people kind of write him off it's just, you know, just for celebrities or if I don't know what I'm doing, you know, I need someone to help me interpret, but they really are an incredible ally if you can find one to collapse great with so and they are also a great team member backstage to help make sure that everything going out has the look that you planned with, um uh, the dresser's, the dressers are hugely important, they really keep things going, and often you will have one dress are assigned per model if she has multiple looks that's usually because you want to create that little relationship and they're they're sort of, you know, her, her assistant for out the whole show. Sometimes you can't get that many dressers and models, so you have to kind of just come up with a formula that works one of the things that I, uh I'll mention later, when you talk about timeline your run of show with models, you want to make sure you give yourself enough time in the cycle so for when the models start repeating because you're not gonna have one model for each outfit uh, and the dressers really help with that with the speed and the dressers the best dressers air going toe worked with the designer first to figure out how this dress goes on because I've had shows I mean shows where the dress goes out backwards or the closure doesn't work because the dresser couldn't figure it out s o you know and that usually happens with complicated garments or sometimes really simple garments with the whole idea of, you know, putting it on backwards so you want people these dressers to be engaged with the designer so that they know or the stylus so that they know what they're doing and then finally, um, music light, sound and stage and even if you have a very simple operation on stage, you want teo work and collaborate with these individuals so that you have the look that you want lighting is really, really key there was a short trend where lighting got very theatrical and very colorful and it basically completely negated all the work the designer did in terms of the color of their collection. You know, they very carefully picked out color and texture and all these kinds of things and these red lights and blue lights all of a sudden changed it so in photographs you didn't see the clothes in their true light, so you want to make sure if you're doing working with a lighting person and they want to do something fun and theatrical that you think about how the clothes are going to be lit for what you want you know it doesn't always have to be star quite like I could imagine with steampunk it could be sort of golden and amber and there's a softness and a romantic aspect to it from something modern it could be very cool and blue so I mean those are just my perceptions of it but you can kind of play with it but I understand how your clothes they're going to react under it um and then sound in stage staging obviously if it's a stage if it's an elevated runway everyone thinks that that's the standard but you can also have floor level but always keep in mind can the can your audience see so if you go down to the floor than third and fourth rows and beyond should be going up so they can see down and if you do all flat seating you usually want to raise your model so even if it's a short riser just enough so that the people in the back and see and those are all logistics that you're going to want to work out with the staging person and then for music we talked touched on this earlier how does the music make you feel and also the level of the music the volume I've been to a lot of shows where I actually actually a couple of them have left because it's painful you know, it's, like some some people think louder is better. And the other thing about that, too, and some music people have disagreed with me on this, the base often the bass gets people going because this is thumping feeling. So if if that works that's great, I always say based down trouble up because I want to hear the christmas of the music and that's just a personal thing, but I find the audiences really respond really well to that if there there and it's not supposed to be a heavy duty thumb being kind of show, so keep that in mind because a lot of music people air on the side of the heavier base because that's, more fun and more, you know, club like or whatever their their their interests are, so make sure the sound sounds right for you. Okay, so let's, move on to our questions about that. So we talked about the models I'm wondering with your aesthetics for your collections. Is there a particular hair and makeup formula that you think like it? Would it be reflective of what you're doing or something completely different? I'm curious with the costuming because it's usually a match radar. Yeah I mean I imagine it would depend on that specific character and just try and if you doing like a more modern interpretation of their costume try and reflect that as well or if you're you know like steampunk if you're trying to take them to another another time period that's it to match that along the costume so philippe what about with bridal think more traditional or again it would depend but I I think what I do is more unconventional so uh I keep thinking about this bride that I worked with about fifteen years ago who came to me and she wanted a black dress she was getting married in prague and she had bought a jacket and she wanted it to go with this jacket jacket was kind of a rust color was very kind of hairy and odd but I made her a black backless sat will satin fulling sheath dress wonderful and it just worked out perfectly so about fourteen years later I got a call from her and she said, well I don't know if you remember me or not but this is still in your name I said I remember you she said well she said that wedding didn't work out so I'm getting married again so and but it was quite a short timeline so she had some fabric she brought it over and she said could you make me a dress out of this and I said I don't think we want to go in that direction. It was horrible fabric it's but I said, well, you know, how do you feel about white? Because you know, I mean I had a lot of white fabric on hand, so I knew I had something I could make you so I made her a what? A white bias cut silk sheath just a simple little slip dress turned out great. Both dresses were completely unconventional and that's really what I do so I would choose an unconventional location I would choose people at a very unconventional look ah whole range of sizes tall, short really mix it up so there would be something there for everybody in the audience to identify with that that's the direction I don't think this is a great example for everyone because again the preconceptions of what special occasion is, you know, it's so ingrained in us of what bridal is or what mother of the bride is, and but you talked about your customer earlier about her being a little unconventional sure of herself, she knows what she likes, what she doesn't like that's that's ah tough customer sometimes because, you know it's gonna be really challenging but also really exciting customer because you can collaborate with them to go those places and I think to entice that customer and to capture their imaginations incorporating hair and makeup and models and environments that that will stimulate them is a real fun challenge. You know, I have to, um, because they are, um they can go to a bridal, any bridal shop and find a gorgeous dress for at any price point. So my hook always is that there is a reason why they're coming to me and usually it's, because they have a specific body issues or because they just do not see themselves in those fluffy white gowns at all. So I used a lot of color ah lot of accent colors, a lot of other things that are not don't speak to sort of traditional bridal at all, and that speaks to your niece too, because I mean, you are the answer to their problems, and as designers, we want to be solving those problems for people want to say what's, the challenge for the theater to be the director, you know, for you would be that the person who wants to go to a convention and and play and then even as a stylist, we can see with with the challenges that come with that, this is all an important focus, you know, thinking about how I'm going to develop all this because it's it's wait take it for granted so often, but it really is vital.