Inside the real fashion industry

Photograph: @saracep13 

Photograph: @saracep13 

No matter how many shows you watch, or documentaries entailing the air kisses, nothing will prepare you for the sheer drama and chaos that goes on behind the scenes.

Sitting behind a laptop screen watching the latest fashion shows from around the world is something that I have never been ashamed of. There has always been a detached realm of the fashion industry – seemingly it is as if it was a world in which wasn’t real and out of reach for my age.

The yearning to attend a fashion show had always been something that I had thought about. Thinking that later in my life and career that this would become a reality.

From behind the screen the dramatics of the set-design and the beauty of the models had always been set apart from reality. Fashion insiders say that models are women from another world, almost alien. As a reasonably tall woman myself, I always laughed at that idea. But it is true, these women are breath-taking in their sheer scale and beauty.

When I think about the amount of hard-work that is put into my degree and blog, it seems that in the back of my mind it is all for the space on the bench that hopefully will be mine at a show in the future. When the opinions after seeing a show can then be written down and published and taken notice of in a magazine.

The key to this post is the idea that it would be my future. As much as you hear the words; “it is not what you know, it is who you know”, or “it will come when you least expect it”. You never believe that this is true.

One Facebook message later and there was no need to think about the future. The reality of sitting on a bench at a fashion show was becoming real, but not only was I going to experience the real fashion world from a space on a bench. But walking in a show and experiencing the fashion world first-hand was the reality.

What you can take away from the fashion industry is that everyone you come across has a complete passion to be where they are.

Not only are the professionals extremely skilled in their area, but the utter amount of hard work they have put in to be there is extraordinary. To be around a group of people who have an extortionate will to get where they want to be is inspiring.

The ability to watch a hairdresser be shown a hairstyle in 15 minutes and then recreate the exact look 35 times is impressive, not only this but in a room where the fight for a pair of hair-clips seems like a mission to the moon and back.

The make-up artists are magicians. They can make a group of 35 idiosyncratic girls look like a clique of 1920’s china dolls. The consistency and ability to work in unison of the hairdressers and make-up artists is something to be learnt and taken on by the general public.

When talking to a make-up artist she explained how she came to the fashion industry, through a stumbling of courses and passion she stated that she had always loved the fashion industry; but was never sure what area she wanted to be in.

I found that with a lot of the professionals there, they knew from young adults that they wanted to be involved in the fashion industry. The complete other-worldly atmosphere of the industry is excelling.

A mere conversation between many face products and pencilled-in freckles, the artist splurged about the fact that she had been flown to Paris last week for Couture Week and had worked for Kenzo. The pride that she had in this statement made me understand how much the industry meant to so many people.

But behind the scenes there is so much more than you would believe.

The constant work of photographers and videographers catching every moment for the keepsake of the designer – right down to the moisturising of the models legs and hands a second before walking out.

Stylists who make sure that everything fits and that the aesthetic of the model is just right for the designer’s collection. Set designers who spend months historically correcting their designs and bring in the freshly-cut flowers and delft tablecloths which merely go unnoticed in the show – the directors of the soundtrack and the lights. They are the true makers of the show.


Molly Goddard: Fashion in Motion

The interns in matching dresses of the designers are the true hard-workers of the industry. They are the busy bees that make sure that everything is just right. Making sure that everyone has water, and that everyone is at ease. Patting the frills and ruffles down on a dress or making sure the seam of see-through netted tights fits just right on the calf.

Fashion interns are the life-line of designers. Unbelievably they never seem to get the recognition that they deserve, they show the forefront of how hard-working and passionate you need to be to get into the industry.

In between shows the inner fashion buff and journalist felt the lull of the industry. Talking to one of the pattern cutting interns for the designer, she told me about the dresses and designs in depth. How she is proud of how they have turned out, and the extent to how much it cost to make one dress.

After talking intently about her education and how she came to where she is now she laughed about the industry. When we assessed the insane amount of material on a tulle dress, we laughed about how we would love to have it is a wedding dress one day, perhaps when we could somehow afford it.

She scoffed, and told me that an African Princess recently ordered it for her 50th birthday.

The industry can be laughable from an outside perspective. Many people deem it as an unnecessary industry; or an industry that is self-involved and full of those that are fake. But from being within the industry and seeing the industry from first-hand for 14-hours, it is one of the most hard-working industry that I have seen. Full of passion, strive and an indefinite tough grind.

It is a continual conveyer belt of hard-work and passion.