Last year at Phoenix Fashion Week I had the opportunity of sitting front row and there really wasn’t much to think about besides sipping on my drink and observing the perfect designs going up and down the runway. This year for Phoenix Fashion Week, I had the opportunity of styling backstage on Saturday night, the final night of Phoenix Fashion Week featuring the couture designers. The energy was the complete opposite of sitting front row. Yes, still unbelievable, and the designs were nothing less than show stopping, but my respect for the people “behind the curtain” has grown to an all time high.
Leading up to the show, I was behind-the-scenes steaming and hanging gowns and making sure all the gorgeous designs were runway ready (a glamorous job, I know!). However, these little things make a world of a difference when the designs hit the runway. Plus, between all the steaming and hanging I had the chance of being up close and personal with all of the pieces and observed the perfect detailing of each design. Let me tell you, these designers are SO talented. The models are as well, so many of those gowns were insanely heavy! There were times it took two of us to carry them from one location to the next.
So, onto the actual “behind the curtain” part of the whole experience…It was incredible to say the least. The work that is put into these shows is absolutely underestimated. Contrary to watching the show front row, backstage is the complete opposite. I mean, obviously, but when watching from front row, it is all glitz and glam; backstage, there is plenty of glitz and glam, but also plenty of running around and craziness, to say the least. There is so much that is put into the show. Like so much! While one model is walking down the runway with her perfect gown and “smize” (smiling with your eyes) on her face, there is another model backstage hurrying to get her first design off and her second on…and if you’re lucky the zipper gets stuck and her lipstick gets smudged (not lucky at all). Yes, this happened multiple times!
While it’s all a little bit stressful behind the scenes, on the runway the designs are putting smiles on the specators’ faces everywhere. (Ummm, hi I steamed those!!😉) I am a firm believer this gesture is a huge indication of a successful show. I know when I was watching front row I never once stopped to think about what was happening backstage; the perfect designs and models’ composure never allowed my mind to stray from the runway.
The craziness of my backstage experience reminded me why I am so obsessed with the fashion industry. I love the feeling of being so busy, thinking on my feet and the constant change. Not to mention, I got to experience everything up close. I got to touch and feel the designs and be involved with everything that happens before the show that actually makes everything possible. I found a real appreciation for the designers, models, and most importantly those who put on the show and essentially, “make it happen”.
Phoenix Fashion Week was absolutely fantastic and if you love fashion as much as I do, I genuinely hope you get the chance to do both watch a fashion show as well as be a part of the production. Both experiences are unforgettable!
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