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Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept

Lesson 37 from: Fashion Design: Start to Finish

Jay Calderin

Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept

Lesson 37 from: Fashion Design: Start to Finish

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

37. Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept


Class Trailer

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin


Intro to Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin


Why Create a Moodboard?


Student Mood Boards


Fashion Inspiration Resources


Learn from the Masters of Fashion


Explore New Fashion Frontiers


Why Narrow Your Focus?


Find a Fashion Specialty


Craft a Collection


Learn to Edit


Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew


Intro to Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew


Why Start with a Sketch?


Drawing: Draw Your Muse


Drawing: Sketch a Figure and Define a Silhouette


Drawing: Render Color


Drawing: Add Texture, Patterns, and Details


Pattern Draping: Working with Muslin


Pattern Draping: Drape a Basic Form


Pattern Draping: Drape Folds


Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines


Pattern Flat: Create and True a Pattern


Draping and Patterning Recap


Constructing Clothes: Put it Together


Constructing Clothes: Make it Special and Finish Well


Fashion Marketing and Branding


Intro to Fashion Marketing and Branding


Explore Your Audience


Display, Data and Design


Share Your Work


Find Your Following


Inform Your Brand


Build Your Business Model


Why Tell Your Fashion Story?


Establish Relationships


Be Ready for Change


Produce a Fashion Show


Intro to Produce a Fashion Show


The Fashion Show: Why? When? How?


Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept


Pre-Show: Build a Team


Pre-Show: Create a Timeline and Checklist


Day of Show: Backstage Strategy


Show: Working with Front of House


Show: Scheduling Run of Show


Show: Breaking Down the Event


Post-Show: Increasing Your Audience


Post-Show: PR for Fashion Shows


Post-Show: Dealing with Downtime


Fashion Design: Start to Finish - Wrap Up


Lesson Info

Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept

And now we're going to talk about the fund first part very similar to when we were talking about mood boards and researching we're going to start to develop a concept so here though what I want to do is with these four areas after I describe them I'd love to hear from you guys in terms of an idea like for that answers we have some questions after this and we're going to start putting things on the board and see how a concept will come together because it won't be the cork board it will be the white board where we can kind of just shuffle things around ideas and add things and really play with how it comes together so first is the purpose of the fashion show we spoke to what we just mentioned about why are you doing it so that will set the tone the next thing location, location, location the place is probably the most important thing you need to consider because um unless you have really great resource is you have too often work within the restrictions of a venue um I remember working w...

ith the boston public library years ago with fashion shows and the first thing I'd ask them are what are the rules lt's because you know it's a public institution and you know like security all these kinds of things they told me all the do's and don'ts and I designed the rent the event around that you know where can we plug things in work and we have models where can we have guests? You know where can you have people coming in and out all these very simple things that we would take for granted but knowing the location is very important and are you working with a raw space that'll determine all the things you have to bring in? Are you working with the hotel that can supply everything you know that will elevate the cost in terms of you know, the whole package? So all all those logistics you want to consider the venue is the starting point so that you know that I caught the white box the theme of the show is not always the clearest thing in turn when you're first thinking about it because you just assume it's an extension of the theme of the collection and it can be but it can also be something that sort of is the the setting for the show and letting that shine without competing with it. In some instances you know you have full immersion and becomes a real theatrical experience where there's sets involved and complicated choreography and performers and you know just becomes a little bit of ah theatrical experience but then there are other places where you want an environment that is that a plain white box there's no distractions and you have the collection of the holy clothing collection be the star and you don't need a theme you need the theme is really sort of a blank space so and there many degrees in the middle but again, this is a place where you want to decide that so it's not decided for you and this is a little bit more out there in the ether because it takes definitely a little a little creative thinking memorable moments and you are designing experience you're experienced is you want to design the experience the user experience at this event and it has to be more than a straightforward show nowadays at least you know that's my opinion I think because we're so exposed to fashion shows like, say, online if we're into fashion and so the bar has been raised very high so I again I'm a big advocate of working within your means, but there are ways to do really creative things that will wow people probably the simplest thing is to think something they can actually take away, you know, like a gift or or something that's tied into your collection something promotional but sometimes it could be something that happened it's uh there's, a designer in boston and denise ajar last year she did show charity during boston fashion week and she has personally started ballroom dancing, so she she brought in her teams I mean the school the dancers at the school where she goes to and they were incorporated into the show and the show had this really fun festive energy so you know, you want to think about what are things I can interject it doesn't always have to be big it could be the lighting it could be that throughout the phases of the evening you know, people walk in and it's pitch black lights come up and it's a bright color bright pig for the show it comes on bright white to show the clothes and then we have something else happened with you know, strobe lights at the end so I could be very simple it doesn't have to be but something that you could say that was a little different that was beautiful I remember how I felt you know, being enveloped in pink you know for that moment because it related to the show or something like that and it's a simple thing to do like I said lights could be a gel that transforms a room all right s o let's go to our questions and when we ask that first question what would you want to get out of a fashion show? Um I'm just curious what would you what would you want to get out of fashion show so the two obvious things would be exposure and press ok, so exposure impress how do you think we do that in terms of let's say well, let's say we're starting out and don't have any relationship with the press it all so you'd have to lay the groundwork to make sure that the press knew you were doing this and you want to have it in a may be an unconventional setting, like at the zoo or at, you know, someplace it was may be outside of the sort of normal fashion runway kind of situation and that if you had some sort of a catch like a theme or whatever that would maybe engage them there and then you would get exposure that through the v of the press and shit and that's that's definitely a valid thing because you are physically putting your work out there on display in a very public forum, and I would say I like your ideas of unconventional spaces or themes and that's really great, especially if you're preaching to the choir, which is people who already loved the fashion and our we're there with you. But the truth of the matter is that when it comes to the press and sometimes for most of the public cares, nobody cares because it's just another fashion shows you made clothes and you're putting them on models and great, you know, and if I'm interested come and not interested come so this brings us back to the segment when we're talking about stories, we want to give them a reason to come other than the clothes because the truth of the matter is that they expect us to do our job they know where a designer and they're expecting pretty well made well fitting clothes and if we did that were proud and we're excited because we're like I did that right but here you have to give the public and the press much much more so this is where our storytelling techniques come into play so if we do have a theme and we have explored who we are as a designer like with with your designs for instance you have this incredible hook which is, you know, special occasion where and then the repurpose ng and I just think that is so unusual it's captured my imagination, so I think you know, working with that, for instance, could be a great tool for creating the story around it. So instead of promoting the fact that you're doing a fashion show promoting the experience of the past six months of you into people's homes and checking out their fabrics and creating things that's a story that someone who is a reader of the publication or a watcher of the show is going to get behind right so and it's something natural in the six states not like, you know, a an invention it's actually part of what you do, but you need to think that far in advance is to promote in terms of saying what's the story behind why am I more important on someone's radar like you always want to think that you're showing against someone else at the same time and you know why would they come to me? You know, let's say we're both evening where designers and they said that kind of thing why do they want to come for me or why do they want to write about me? And I think that's the key and that's why we want to do all that sort of work with the storytelling because then way always I always used to forget in the beginning I thought, you know, that was the news I'm doing a show that is not the news so you have to and and with the press often they're so inundated you have to do the work of creating this story and delivering it to them supplying pictures even sometimes of you know, of all your visits because if they can they'll go and re shoot things for themselves. But if they can't, they have a resource in you and I've had writers actually lift complete things out of the press releases I create paragraphs and just basically included in their article as part of their article because you know they're in a time crunch and this might not be breaking news but they liked the story and it has human interest so you want to do that? That work before him. So any other? Yeah. Oh, well, I was listening to you talk. I'm not sure this is the same thing, but, um, about ten years ago, I would have done to fashion shows, and they were mainly for as fundraisers. And so what I what I did, I was in charge of picking the outfits and pairing them with music. Okay, which was quite something, let me tell you, but, um, I think maybe as starting out, uh, if you attach yourself to something else, like you said, a reason to be there. And one of the fashion shows I did was give it it's kind of long story, but basically hit the theme was world war two because I was living out in the islands and it was about the liberation of this island from world in world war two. And so we paired. It was like sixty years or something. So we paired the theme of world war two with modern day kind of evening, where in leisure closed, it was kind of ah here's the arc of where we were and right, we're where we are now, and we actually got quite a bit of exposure on that, and we make quite a bit of money. Well, I mean charities, they're definitely a great especially if they're close to your heart and they really mean something because you can start to craft almost recraft a story that relates to that because of what's important tio so well that's even better yeah, yeah, yeah, but but that's again another example of why they would write about it because there's history there there's some sort of dynamic that you've created between then and now and I mean that becomes a really valuable story so excellent anybody else have any reasons why they might want to put on a fashion show in the chat rooms? Abbey lane was also talking about doing charity auctions but also passion time and said, I want to find an innovative way to show off my clothes and create a vibe for my audience and let's say there is one other one in terms of ambulance saying for the purpose of the fashion show what she would want to get out of it everyone to have a good time to feel the message of the collection could connect with the audience that they could see themselves and some of the clothes on dh then for them to tell people about it well, that last one is is really interesting because I think when you think about things like seeing themselves in the clothing ah lot of times designers will put people from the community into their shows and very specifically, you know, that's, a way of tying in the community because everybody rallies around when that person comes out. If it's a news anchor or, you know, somebody in the community and so that's a useful tool on dh, I would say that's a really valid point because it connects with the audience. The other thing is to think about how you might, uh, reinvent the whole idea of a runway presentation to teo to a place where they have a better connection to it. And we talked a little bit about that earlier with like installations and things like that. So kind of doing hybrids of ideas that are event driven but that you can make, um, you know, really unique and that people can be very for it to be very accessible for people. Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines of, like, collaboration, the last show that I helped out with. We had tom douglas who is like a local food. He owns a lot of restaurants in seattle come out and they did like a food fusion. With the fashion on, I felt like it got a lot. I would've never have thought of it originally, it was the designer at the time who was helping put on for her original idea but I was just like this is great because it got such a variety of people into the audience whereas you already have the people who are interested in fashion coming out but like I mean food kind of unites everyone but but and I also thought that what I think I think it was valentino who just did the fashion show where they brought zoo leander out at the end oh yes, yeah and and I was just like that rallied so many people like I have a lot of friends who are not as interested in fashion and like, it was just something I was hearing about everywhere like is all over social media and like people talking about it I'm like this is really cool because it got a lot like a lot of water and it speaks so uh, something we touched on earlier the wit of it so having a sense of humor about it I mean not every designer is going to play like that some people are very serious and that's what they're serving up but you know, to play with that humor and wit and the unexpected and I think that speaks to what we said earlier about those memorable moments so I think that's very valid so so okay, we talked about promotion and collaboration so what kind of venue would best suit your style? So with your evening where what do you think is important so let's talk about it a special occasion being special being the key word an obvious place would be a some sort of a wedding venue or something somebody would think about as a place where they would consider having their wedding so it already has sort of set up to look like that kind of ah exactly yeah I mean and and it doesn't have to be that you create a set but saying what kind of venues are my customers using because it may not be a hotel it may be something very avant garde so you want to ask yourself which one reflects my customer more definitely yeah and I'm just curious if you were showing off your cool new steampunk collection what might be a fun venue like here in seattle let's say that you think would be a great place to shut off I actually think I would do that down it uh what's its the underground downtown yeah, I think I do it at the underground miners where are you? Yeah yeah yeah, something like that I like that and the underground is ah well it used to be seattle but it's ah, maybe someone else could explain that better it's a whole lower level in seattle that's historic that was has all the what used to be it was kind of breakdown and covered over yours step it's like yeah that's that's absolutely amazing and that would be again not just for the press but and you spoke to this earlier of doing sort of an unexpected venue that would play but it plays into the story it plays into the history plays into all the things that are valuable too. So um what would the theme of your collection? I mean, would the theme of your collection be extended into the aesthetics of the show and I think with with both of you like what you talked about in terms of, you know, special occasion going to a wedding venue on dh then also the scene going to an atmosphere that would feel like you could almost you know, it makes sense, you know, it's a reflection of it is really great, but I don't want teo discount like that white box because I think, for instance um although we think of fashion shows is live events, there are a lot of fashion designers who might use a white studio and have models coming out and it's something you shoot and play online and it's this controlled experience viktor and rolf did one of the coolest shows online it was one of the first one of the early livestream shows and I should say is live stream it was streamed online and they use one model so this is incredibly economical to one model and it was all about the editing so is a fashion show virtual runway they even created? I think the venue virtually like through graphic design I mean design and the same model kept coming back and at certain points to the miracle of editing she crossed herself so really, really simple so with technology and you know and you're creative people behind filming and graphics you can create an online event you know, a virtual about yes what you're talking about is that not necessary your virtual event but with the steampunk since the idea steampunk is kind of victorian with victorians look what the future might be would be to take steampunk and put it in a kind of a two thousand one space out of c type setting yes, that would be this incredible juxtaposition it yes and it goes back again to our hollywood pitch it's like mixing things up and saying what's the formula you want to use because it's you know it could be a formula that kind of thing elements relate to each other they're just a slight variation or drastically different that are meant to sort of clash clyde so very cool and then, um what could you incorporate into your show to shock and awe the audience and again it doesn't have to be huge shock, you know I could just be a beautiful like ah, you know, like when something happens was that karl lagerfeld, who did had cem, the son of one of the models was in the show and it was shocking to see a little child in this, you know, extravaganza of a fashion show, and it got a ton of press because this boy was adorable and, you know, with father and right, I mean, but it really gave just a little extra oh, that's a different idea putting this little kid in these that's tugging a couple of, you know, strings, you know, in terms of, oh, this sweet factor, how charming and, you know, again that's a strategy because it could have been a whole different type of introduction into the show, right? It could be something that was just really wild and, you know, being very disruptive, so you want to think about what this element would be, so I'm just curious, does anybody have any other shock? And maybe not that you've thought about for your show, but maybe that you've experienced because you've also gone to shows or even other types of events? Yeah, well, I was thinking, I I don't recall who did this, but there was there was a one spring fashion show that I watched, and it was all kind of floral inspired, not to a literal sense. But it was in their ending garment was address a gown completely made out of flowers and it was neat because the whole show, although floral like you kind of think of a light happy pat like happy ah print it had, like kind of this dark twist to it, and the ending gown was literally kind of like falling apart as walking out like you would trail flowers and leaves. It was kind of this cool like destruction, too. It was like a beautiful maid in practical garment, but like it was a good like parties at the end, right s o I feel like ending on a strong, maybe like unexpected rice that ties in but me real theater at the end this little punctuation mark I call it in the traditional fashion shows at our old school. Designers always had a bride at the end. So nowadays, that's not as common because bridal has kind of become its own thing, but that could be a version of that could be really great. And even things like if you were doing bridal wear let's say, uh, never forget. So this beautiful wedding gown it was pure, pure white and exquisite, just shy of the floor, and then just when she moved, you saw that all the kremlin's underneath were red so the designers obviously making a statement, I don't know what it is you won't even dare t understand, but it was amazing because it was this little rim of color I've seen designers do that with the accessories like a beautiful white gown, but you know, leopard shoes and red stockings, you know where you just get that little hint and you're playing with the personality of the in bridal you're playing with the personality of the bride, but in fashion design, you could be kind of expressing yourself and introducing these little elements that air you're either sense of humor or sense of theatre or sense of art. Yes, I think what might be interesting in the future and maybe somebody's already doing it? I don't, no, but I'm really fascinated by those three d printers. Oh, yeah, and and to somehow incorporate I don't actually know how you would do it, but to incorporate that into into a show. Ah, along with or maybe a separate show would be thie use of holograms and was alexander because we do similar things that goes yes, yeah, and andi think it's funny with the three printing? I don't think it's technically fast enough anymore, I mean, yet, I should say but I could imagine because of alexander mcqueen, he had shows with lots of technical machines, this one where the girl comes out and she's wearing this white dress and she's on a turntable, and these these mechanized arms air spraying paint onto her so that they're creating the fabric on the model and is very theatrical. But but also, you know, like with three d printing, it could be something there. A lot of fashion out there happening now in three d printing is a big movement in it. And to think about how on stage may be part of that awe is the fact that a three d machine is printing something. And by the very last model, she puts it on, you know, so the length of the show was producing a garment or an accessory that becomes part of the show. So you know a lot of great things, and you can be inspired by other I mean that's definitely taking from a whole other industry.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Mood Board Checklist
Styling and Fashion Show Gear Guide

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Body Measurements Chart
Care and Feeding of a Garment
Change Agents
Copy Rights and Copy Culture
Dissemination - FashionArt
Fashion Equations.pdf
Fashion Show Checklists
Question Charts
Specializations - The Players
Starter Questions Chart
Pattern Making Gear Guide
Sketching Gear Guide
Sewing Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Jay is a rare gem in the world of instructors. He has the perfect balance of information, examples, and hands on visuals. He included his students in the teaching process. They were not just the audience. Even the viewers were encouraged to participate! I loved his teaching style and enthusiasm as well as the content of information he shared with us. He covered a vast amount of information and led us at a pace that was very easy to follow. It reaffirmed my love of fashion as well as designing new ideas. This class was inspiring and motivating. If you are even the slightest bit curious about Fashion Design, constructing patterns, or even drawing models, this class is for you. It was all encompassing for an overview of Fashion Design from start to finish. Jay has an easygoing manner that you will want to watch him again and again. A great resource for your library. I can't wait to see him again in the Creative Live classroom!. Good luck to Jay and all his endeavors! Thank you Creative Live for providing yet another great learning opportunity for an international audience.

Michelle B

This is day one of Jays class and I am already hooked and purchased this class. Jay is an awesome instructor. He explains everything in easy to understand terms. He explained things that I have bought books to learn and didn't in one easy lesson. I recommend this class for anyone that has a interest in Fashion design or even learning to draw models for anything you need to sketch out. I hope Creative Live will bring Jay back for more classes. Jay is a instructor also worth having in your tool box of CL classes to refer back to for learning and inspiration! Thank You Jay for sharing your knowledge with us!!


I agree with everything that michelle-b said in her review of this class, and will add that I can tell that he is an instructor who not only knows his subject matter, but has excellent teaching skills. He is very engaged with his students, and focused on making sure that they get what he is telling/showing them. He also has the rare gift of distilling a complex subject down to its essence and teaching it in a simplified form that gives the student a good overview of the basics, and somehow also gives the student insight into more of the subject’s depth than he actually says in words. This broader understanding of the subject empowers the student to proceed on a much higher level than would be possible after taking any other course overview. Even more amazing is that the lessons covered in this way could be (and are) full courses in themselves elsewhere, but were merely segments of this two-day CL class. For this reason, if I ever got a chance to take one of Jay’s classes at the School of Fashion Design, I would take it in an instant. I too bought this class by the end of Day 1. For me, the segments on sketching and drafting alone were worth the $69, and the rest is bonus.

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