London Fashion Week. My day 3. Tata Naka behind the scenes
This is my first time helping backstage at a fashion show. I said to Emma that the only thing I ask is that she used normal words for things. If she wanted a pin, say ‘I want a pin’. None of that any visual merchandising lingo and all would be good.
Before I give a run down I have to say this…Emma Davidge, Chameleon Visual. I salute you!
Time is of the essence and ‘Oh Lordy! The pace is crazy! I arrived at 12.30 to Somerset house and Emma shortly arrives with a massive carton of fresh-cut carnations. We give each other big hugs. ‘You ready love?‘ She says. ‘You’re the commander’ I reply.
Chris (set builder/production) arrives and so does Nicky who baked the wonder cake lollies, with her husband who was carrying the load. He looked like and we all thought that he didn’t want to hang around, but found out later that he actually wanted to come in! Bless him.
Passes are given out and we mosey on in. Lift does not go to the 2nd floor. It takes us to 1st so get out and walk the rest. WARNING! You do not want to walk up 3 floors! Hold the need to go pee. My lesson learnt that day.
We wait around a bit for the current show to finish and we finally enter our work room. ALL SYSTEMS GO!
500 lemonade bottles, some vodka, some not, had to be tied with stringed carnations and a straw added. (Emma had stayed up until 4am stringing them all) Emma gave us clear directions on how she wanted them to look. They had to be precise and she doesn’t mess! I would be the same way too if you had to create the set design and Tata Naka’s own bottle logo for the 4 hour event. After the 1st 10, I finally found my roll and was knocking them out pretty quick. I would like to stress that I did not do this alone! There were about 8 of us in the end. However there was one intern that actually stated that it was too difficult to do?! I Understand that you have injured your hand, but she wasn’t much help elsewhere either! Why she came? I don’t know. There always seems to be one.
Emma went to do other things in the Portico Room where the show was being held.
On the other side of our room, Tata Naka were preparing the outfits whilst the models were in another having hair and makeup done. Once they were ready they came back to be fitted. With my head down getting on with it, the next thing I hear in a panic-stricken voice …
“Where are the models? Buyers are here!”
It was 3.15pm. The show was meant to start 3pm.
Imagine the scene when the teacher is out of the class room and you all start mucking about, unaware that the teacher has back and scare the shit out you and you all move like the wind. That’s what it felt like and that what we did. We all moved faster than Superman! The first model was out, front and centre in 20 seconds flat! After that only drama, it was smooth sailing.
Tata Naka’s inspired collection combined movement and colour in a fluid way. The girls collection was influenced by the late work of Pina Bausch and is shown clearly with feminine lines and divinely printed fabrics.
Models took their position, posed, went back to change into next outfit. Drinks and the wonderfully rich cake lollipops went out to guests and sets were changed. I mingled with the crowd and greeted the many buyers I knew. With themed ‘Love and Dance’ tracks playing in the background and me taking many photos in between, I think I ate around 6pm. The breakdown was fast and clean. No different to me doing the same at exhibitions. Emma and team Tata Naka left for a dinner reservation and was out at 8pm.
I have a new-found respect for the preparation, planning and timing for all that goes into producing a fashion show.
Did I enjoy it? Hell! Yes! Would I do it again? Yes.