Satirically…Of course. You may be used to the air kissing ‘oh dahrling’ world front of house and front row…Or you know, you could be one of those “bloggers” blagging your way in and standing at the back…Regardless, all you see is the streamlined show, a short delay of course, what show ever starts on time?!…And models on the catwalk.
Backstage, the story is a little different. Here, I shall take you back back. Now, I don’t mean your typical glamorous “backstage” shots you often see on blogs; of models sipping champagne…Photographers and models swanning around a la Tom Ford…I mean, sure, at Tom Ford it may well be like that, but let’s face it, the majority are not.
No, backstage work at a fashion show is more like entering a building site sans hard hats et avec high heels. Those benches you perch on to watch the shows don’t arrive like that, they aren’t simply teleported in…No. More than likely they were constructed by an army of interns; screwing in legs, positioning them at perfect distance from each other and scrubbing the dirt off with baby wipes. Having done this for a second time we have perfected this to a fine art…With bruises.
Then comes the runway. The best way I can describe the runway; is by comparing it to an oversized baby. Post each show, it has a blanket pulled over it (the plastic sheet), all the marks left (usually from the bottom of your shoes) are scrubbed off, again with baby wipes and any marks left on the back wall are covered with talcum powder. True story. Cleaning rituals may vary, but that fact remains that a pure white indoor model road is bound to collect imperfections.
Next comes the actual cat’walk’. I very recently had the pleasure (humiliation?) of standing in for a model with a group of similar minded young slinterns. Yes, we all know models are fabulous professional creatures (who throw up and pass out backstage last minute), but they don’t just walk out and wing it! No, each show is precisely choreographed in the strictest manner. Each turn, each pause; They are all perfectly timed…’onethousandandoneonethousandandtwoandturn’… Put yourself in their shoes for a moment. Each time a model steps heel on the catwalk; hundreds of pairs of eyes follow their every move. They are set up to be scrutinised, and each minuscule defect is deemed a fault. They are stripped naked backstage and thrown into next looks, they are forced into heels two sizes too small and are looked down upon (literally and metaphorically) when they fall…I have seen it all, it’s not pretty and I for one can safely say; I would Never be a model. (I mean, regardless, it’s not like I have the metabolism…the legs…the face…the hair…Suffice to say; i’m like the anti-model).
Once the day begins, our experience is probably just as cyclonic and challenging as your experience. I have had the privilege of being on the door more than once. Yes. I have been one of those people who say; “excuse me please may I see your ticket?…Okay, can you please wait in the line to your left? It’s VIPs only right now”. I have had people argue, complain the children need to sit down ‘they’re tired’ (Urm a). Why have you brought your children to a fashion show and b). It’s like 9pm of course they’re going to be tired…), I have seen people leave because a show is running 30 minutes late…”no madam I’m afraid I do not know what time we will open the doors, in fact, I don’t know anything at all”. If you were at fashion week last season you very may have been one of those people abusing me at one point. I wouldn’t if I were you. We front of house people have some very good friends, most widely referred to as bouncers (literally the nicest people at fashion week, we had such a good laugh)…But get on their wrong side? And you will probably vaguely resemble Alex Reid; being thrown out of the Universal Brit Awards after party…Yes, he didn’t leave his ticket at home he was genuinely turned away. Didn’t take a genius to figure that one out.
So, next time you are at fashion week, don’t envy the interns. I like fashion as much as the next person, most probably tenfold more. And I will continue to work season after season because so. In fact, one day in the hopefully not so distant future, it may even be my collection you come to see. However after a solid week of shows, it takes something truly spectacular to bring you back down to earth. Or, well, I suppose a couple of Sainsburys own brand gin shots would do the trick. AJF
P.S…I’m not going to apologise for the lack of posting over the past week, like I say, I have other deadlines. In fact, I’m writing this on a tube right now.
Whilst on the subject of tubes…I literally can’t get over how brilliant Angel Tube is. First; there is basically a live in cat. Second; picked up a free Karl Lagerfeld for Diet Coke there the other morning. Third; can Always pick up Stylist magazine and finally; on the message board they have a ‘Thought For The Day’. I managed to catch the amazing person in action this morning…Didn’t quite understand the thought…But regardless; what a brilliant idea!