Behind the Scenes of Fashion Geek: DIY Fashion Show

Craft & Design Yarncraft

Only one more day until the big electronic fashion show for the release of my book Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech on March 19th. There are so many things that need to get done to make a fashion show happen. Since CRAFT is all about DIY, here are all the steps you need to follow to put on your own fashion show.
1. Models: Designers find models by holding a casting call, an interview for models. At the casting call models show designers their portfolio, their model walk, and poses. Models often have comp cards (the model business card) with photos of themselves and measurements. Where do the models come from? An established designer will call a model agency and request models. If you are a small designer just starting out, you could put up flyers around your school or post an ad on Craigslist. The information you need to post for a casting call is the location and time (usually a 2 – 4 hour time slot). Then you wait for the models to show up.
I only needed four models for my fashion show. So I simply called Empire Model Agency and they sent some girls over. Above you can see my model call being filmed by MTV while a model strikes a pose. MTV is filming my show sponsor Fashion Indie for their TV show True Lives.
2. Runway/Platforms/Podium: There are two types of fashion shows: a runway show and a fashion presentation. In fashion presentations, the models pose on platforms or podiums for the duration of the show (a couple of hours). Fashion presentations are cheaper than runway shows and have been very popular this fashion season due to the recession. You can rent platforms, but they are very easy to make. I made my own platforms with the help of Dave Clausen.
3. Location: A lot of places like bars, restaurants, and clubs are willing to host a fashion show (for free) because fashion shows make a location hip, and more fun for the patrons. Plus, fashion shows have the potential to bring in a lot of press. So don’t be afraid to ask for the manager at your favorite hangout and pitch a fashion show.
My show will be at PopLounge right above PopBurger and across the street from FAO Schwartz.
4. Press: Let’s face it, while fashion shows are a lot of fun, it’s not worth it to go through all of the trouble if you aren’t going to get some publicity. And if you are having a show in the industry with buyers, the press are the first people you should invite.
The Fashion Geek fashion presentation has press coverage ranging from ThreadBanger to MTV to Popular Science. I contacted a lot of press about my release party, but that doesn’t mean that they will all show up. If you have trouble getting press to your event, keep trying. Only a percentage of the press contacted will show up and this is true for all fashion shows.
5. Styling: Styling is very important. You aren’t just showing clothes, you are showing a way to wear the clothes. Not everyone will wear the clothing this way in real life. Instead, you are showing the clothes worn in a way that best represents the theme of your collection. You style the clothes with accessories: shoes, jewelry, hosiery, hats, hair pieces, glasses, etc.
The style for this fashion presentation that I’m going for is “Geek Chic.” I love all of the textured colored stockings that I saw going down the runways in Europe, so I am layering up stockings. A colored stocking underneath, and a knit/lace one on top. (I spent the most money to style stockings.) I grabbed some matching shoes from an unmentionable cheap shoe place. (If I were having a larger fashion show, I would have a shoe sponsor who would lend me shoes for the models.) And lastly, I grabbed a couple of pairs of fake glasses. The rest of the accessories will come from the book.
6. Hair and Make-Up: This is a big part of styling. Designers usually collect photos from magazines of hair styles and make-up that they like. These are called tear sheets, and they are shown to the hair and make-up artist. Sometimes there is a hair and make-up test before the show.
I grabbed tear sheets from the TV show, Gossip Girl. I really like the romantic locks of Blair and her posse. Gossip Girl is very young, girly and playful. I want to capture this for my electronic fashions so that they will be friendly to girls and help them realize that electronics are more than something just for geeky boys.
7. Music: Music can enhance the theme of your fashion presentation. Nobody wants to watch models in silence. And of course, it’s way more difficult for a model to strut without any music! I am having circuit bending DJs and digital music to match the digital clothing at my show from Joey Mariano and Eric Skiff.
More from me on Friday after my Fashion Geek presentation!

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Fashion + Technology Diana was a contestant on Project Runway season 2, graduated from RISD, and currently lives in New York City.

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