Next month I will be hosting a fashion show for Phi Mu Sorority and their Alumna and Collegiate chapters here in Cleveland. I thought it would be fun to share with all of you my journey in planning, styling, and directing a fashion show. I have been a part of many fashion shows, but I have never planned one on my own. This will be my first solo show so it’s a little nerve wracking. I’m a perfectionist at heart so everything has to be perfect or I tend to get a little crazy.
A fun fact: I had a crash course in fashion show production when I was at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I took a class on Creative Fashion. We did everything from writing articles about fashion to planning a huge fashion show. The awesome thing about the fashion show we had to plan was it was to be a show that showcased an up and coming Brooklyn Design team and the show was for buyers from Barneys and Neiman Marcus so the pressure was on. It was one of my favorite group projects in college and now a few years later I’ll be taking what I learned and applying it in a solo show.
The first step when planning a fashion show is to meet with the client to discuss what the theme of the fashion show will be along with some particulars and logistical questions. Some of those questions might include lighting, music, make-up/hair, attire, and venue. When sitting down with your client for the first time you definitely want to come prepared with tons of questions so you can get a better feel for their show and encourage as much information from them and thoughts in regards to their show that you will be planning for them.
My contact for the show is Ali and Ann.They're a perfect mixture of the younger and older generation. Ali is an Alumna in her 20’s and relates more to the undergraduates of the sorority and Ann is a little older who represents the mid30’s -40’s generation of the alumna. After meeting with them both I learned that the theme of the fashion show would be Professional Wear. I am so lucky to have done two shows like this in the past so it makes the planning a little easier. After hearing from the ladies I learned of the constant battle between the young and old on what is and is not appropriate, specifically when dressing professionally. While Ann hopes the show will serve as an example to help the undergraduates understand what is appropriate professional attire. Ali hopes to use the show as a guide to both undergraduates and Alumna on what professional wear really means and looks like.
I completely understand where my clients are both coming from but I believe both undergraduates and Alumna could learn from a show like this. Not only will it be an example for the younger ladies entering the professional world I also believe it will be a good example to the Alumna to show how fashion is always changing including professional wear and sometimes things that were not appropriate 10 yrs ago are becoming part of professional wear now. I know the clients have their opinions, but I want to create a show that my audience will love so it's important to find that balance so that the undergrads don't think they are being lectured to or the Alumna think the show is inappropriate. It’s a constant battle between the younger generation and the older. I myself debate with my own mother on what's fashion forward and what is not.
I definitely have my work cut out for me when planning this show. I’ll be sure to keep you posted and stay tuned for more of my fashion show diaries.
I thought it would be fun to share some examples of Professional Wear looks from my closet at the end of each diary post. Up first is my Special Event Attire. In the show we have 3 sub categories when dressing for a special event. There is Formal, which is a black tie event or company Christmas Party. Cocktail, which would be a wedding or banquet, and Casual, which would be a bridal or baby shower.
Here is an example of Professional Dress for a Cocktail Event