Today we want to share a pro guide to the best ever fashion set designs. Think of how people dressed 10 years ago. Then 20 years ago. And 50 years ago? Now think about what you wear every day. Think of what you’d wear at a corporate event, a New Year party or a wedding. All the styles you thought about are different, are they not? The fashion industry has a massive influence on our lives. Now think of that industry. You think of models, clothes and fashion shows.
The biggest event for a designer or a fashion house is organizing a fashion show. Countless hours are spent in preparation for each and every show. At least double and triple the effort when that show is part of Fashion Week. But that effort isn’t just for designing the outfits and preparing the models. Stage design also takes top priority.
“Event branding displays such as banners and posters on which brand logos or slogans are displayed should be incorporated in the event designs.” according to large format printing experts. These displays are a key way to boost exposure as well as enhance overall event experience.
Due to the pandemic that has now entered its third year, many fashion shows were held virtually in 2021. Nevertheless, this didn’t diminish the importance of impressive stage designs. So what factors ensure that the stage for the show is just as good as the outfits that are going to be displayed on it?
The first element of the stage that should be designed carefully is the runway. We have to look at the layout, the material, the side details and even the surroundings of the runway.
We’ve seen everything from T-shaped runway layouts to the traditional straight catwalk and it’s modern X-shaped variants. The layout of the runway should be planned around two other factors. The first of those is whether there are enough models working for the show for let’s say three of them to be posing on stage while the others are backstage changing their outfits. The other factor is the seating plan for the audience. After all, the stage should allow for maximum visibility so that everyone in the crowd can get a good look at the outfits being shown on stage. If the venue is spacious enough, and there are enough models to keep an almost constant flow on the runway, you can even stretch the limits with an “S” shape and beyond.
The floor of the runways can be made of wood, plywood or other materials. The increasingly popular trend these days is using acrylic or glass. These materials provide the runway with a refined look. Usually, the catwalks are left void of designs since most of the audience can’t see them, but for televised fashion shows where the camera can get a good high shot of the runway, designs can be incorporated for added effect.
Another area of the runway that extends to the stage itself is the vertical sides of the stage if they’re elevated from the ground. This area can be stylized with panels of different materials as well as rolls of vinyl or fabric. They’re a prime surface for logos of the fashion house, sponsors, partners and the venue hosting the event.
The most visible part of the stage during a fashion show is the backdrop. This is the part of the stage that covers the backstage area and makes sure that the audience can’t see what’s happening off the stage. These backdrops are usually designed to be as simple as possible, so as not to distract the audience from the actual show. The fact remains that some of the biggest fashion shows can get away with using even extravagant backdrops. Let’s explore just how simple and how impressive fashion show stage backdrops can be.
The simplest backdrop we can see in a fashion show is probably a single, mute-colored fabric backdrop. The next level is adding one simple design to the backdrop. This design will most likely be the designer’s logo. Another design idea for backdrops would be having an empty backdrop, but having two side panels either side of the central background showing off brand or designer names as well as maybe the name of the collection on display.
A more elegant backdrop idea would be having a dark background with small dimmed LED lights installed into it. This would give the audience an impression of seeing a starry night in the background. Other fashion show stage backdrops can display famous paintings printed on different materials, brick walls, wooden boards, murals, graffiti and much more depending on the overall style of the show.
Extravagant backdrop designs can be made of massive boards and structures of glass or acrylic materials. These often form an entryway or a tunnel that leads onto the catwalk. They’re by far some of the most inspiring, alluring and provocative fashion show stages we’ve seen over the years.
The Lighting & Music
Another extremely important aspect of a fashion show is the lighting. The way a fashion show is lit up should take into consideration every single person who will be in attendance. The audience and members of the media need to see where they’re supposed to be seated, and they need to see every detail of what’s happening on stage. The models on stage need to shine as well as watch their step. Most importantly, photographers need proper lighting to capture a collection in the best way possible. There is very little room for error when lighting a fashion show.
Set lighting is made up of many facets from brightness to spotlights and angles. The lighting tones also play a major role in showing off colors, details, make up and so on. Every bulb is key to setting the atmosphere for the show.
Last but not least is the music. This element also has a massive effect on the ambiance of the show. How loud it is, the genre, how fast the beat and the tempo are… they all have an effect on how the audience perceives what they see on stage.
The ideas we’ve gone over play into creating some of the best-ever fashion show stages we’ve seen. A true fashion critic would definitely be looking at everything that’s unfolding onstage, including the stage itself. With Fashion Week 2022 fast approaching, let’s wrap up with the top five fashion shows and spring trends of 2020. After all, every good set sits on the shoulders of its giant predecessors. We look forward to seeing how inspo from the past prepares mind-blowing designs for the years ahead.