To return to the How-To Index, please click here


     This area deals with the fashion aspects of the show:  hair, make-up, and clothing.

Ideas & Inspirations


•  Speak with the Marketing Committee Chair PR Committee Chair and find out if they are negotiating a magazine partnership. If so ask
   for the magazine to provide a stylist to assist the Fashion Committee with the fashion show. Many magazines have stylists in house, and
   if they are not in house full time, they are often under retainer. This should be requested in the beginning of the negotiations of the

  You can also hire a professional stylist to run the fashion show. This is outline in Approach 3:  Bring in a Pro  on the Fashion page.  
   This person comes in early and may help bring in all
 the right vendors, and recruits models and shoe guys.  Highly recommended,
   especially if she or he is a well-connected, 
social stylist.  However, you still must manage the stylist, and make sure she/he chooses
   wearable & flattering outfits.

  Who will provide your clothing?  You can outsource to a department store Approach 1:  Outsource to Department Store or 
   outsource to a local boutique.  Approach 2:  Outsource to Local Boutique(s)
   If you choose to do it all yourself, you need to read though Approach 2 and be aware of the following:

   1) How many stores will you work with?
   2) Where do you find the models?
   3) How do you manage the models fitting schedules?
   4) Make sure no clothing is damaged. This happens most with community models, and is one upside to pro models. 
   5) Know that stores will not want to put aside looks that they may sell far before the show.  Therefore you may have to choose looks at
      the last time. You'll just have to go with the flow on this.  That's how it works.

•  How many looks?  Choose about 50 looks, give or take depending on your choreography.  Here's how to determine the number of styles: 
   An ideal show is 18 to 20 minutes. You will h
ave a model every 20 – 30 seconds. Sometimes models should come out in pairs. This
   means for each minute expect about 3 looks and 3 models.  Hence, an 18 minute show with 3 looks & 3 models each minute equals
   looks.  Again it all depends on your choreography.
The best fashion shows feature models in head to toe looks.
   (shoe-only fashion show = boring)


•  Themed Segments:  Divide your show into themed segments.  Here is a sample from our 2012 Saks event in Lexington. 
        (All songs were remixed by the DJ to increase the beats per minute)


Segment 1 = Little Black Dress (song: "Lights" by Ellie Goulding, remixed); they played up the shoes and hosiery in this one with fur hats and red & pink short gloves, so cute!!!  


Segment 2 = Vineyard Reds (song: "Zou Bisou Bisou" by Gillian Hills, remixed, from the Mad Men season premiere); love that they did a wine-themed segment and thought another name for this could be "Cabernet Classics"  


Segment 3 = Shades of Gray (song: "Hello, I Love You" by The Doors, remixed and "S & M" by Rihanna, remixed)


Segment 4 = Contemporary Leather (song: "Bossa Nova Baby" by Elvis, remixed, and "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra remixed); or the French version is fun too.


Segment 5 = Masculine/Feminine (song: "Levels" by Avicii, remixed);  All about women in ties and the whole androgynous thing which is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! 


Segment 6 = Printing Press (song: "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox, remixed); all about prints 


Segment 7 = Embellished Evening (song: "Titanium" by David Guetta, remixed); they played up fur with the gowns which was over the top 


  Damaged Clothing:  As mentioned above, tis happens most with community models, and is one upside to pro models.  We've 
   seen $2000 dresses completely ruined by sweat, hairspray, or wine.  To prevent this with community models, a few ideas:
    - Make sure models DO NOT wear perfume.
    - Make sure models DO wear fragrance-free antiperspirant/deodorant--something that prevents smells & stains in clothes.  Keep this 
      backstage in a spray form.  If they object, explain they can wash it is a must in modeling to protect the clothing & they may wash it off
      immediately after taking off the clothing.
    - DO NOT allow stylists to use belts, etc., as not intended, e.g. as headwraps.  They may get hairspray or make-up on them & ruin them.
    - DO put on and remove clothing immediately before and after stage entrance and exit.  DO NOT allow models to sit around for any 
      length of time in the clothes.



Hair & Make-Up:  

  In terms of hair & make-up, for 15 to 20 models you will need 4 make-up artists & 4 stylists. 

  Arrange for a professional hair and makeup team to donate their time/services, which many local salons/artists are usually thrilled to do –
   this makes for a fun confidence-boosting back stage experience 
for the models.








       Think about what mood an outfit creates & projects.  You impact audience mood by placing models in
         hip, sexy, sweet, or contemporary (& always body-type flattering) outfits. As the models walk the runway
         to energizing music, it’s almost like a music video or fun fantasy for guests, who might imagine
         themselves in the clothes as that character.


Lessons Learned Black?

  Shoe fashion shows can get dull and are too subtle (where models wear all-black and don’t change
        looks). The shows need either full fashions or major accessory changes to make them feel like full outfits.


Beware the "Emperor's New Clothes" Stylists

     •   Just because something's "fashionable" doesn't mean it's flattering or wearable.  If you hire a pro stylist,
          insist that they choose clothes your audience would actually wear.  

     •   Do not put your community models in unflattering outfits.  (You don't want your models
         sorry that they volunteered.)


Stylist–Not Pimp

     •   Never dress your models in sleazy outfits.  If you could envision it on a hooker, it's inappropriate–no
          matter how much wine flows.