exclusive: behind the backstage magic of fashion east spring/summer 17

As Saskia Dixie invites us behind-the-scene of Fashion East spring/summer 17, we ask London’s most talented designers, make-up artists, set designers and PRs to share the secrets behind one of the shows of the season.

by Steve Salter
|
12 October 2016, 10:37pm

matty bovan spring/summer 17

Thanks to the debut of Matty Bovan, the catwalk returns of A.V. Robertson and Richard Malone, and Mimi Wade's latest B Movie blockbuster, Lulu Kennedy's Topshop sponsored incubator Fashion East provided one of the highest of spring/summer highlights. From mythical club creatures to a toxic paradise and sculptural workwear corsetry, each of them crafted worlds that we're still thinking about and longing to explore further. Despite being some of fashion's brightest talents, they didn't do it alone. It might be their names in the headlines and sewn into the samples but each has a crew of creative collaborators helping them turn their daydreams into reality. As Saskia Dixie's short captures the magic, mayhem and mass-collusive-creativity behind-the-scenes, we ask some of the collaborators to share their spring/summer 17 stories...

Mimi Wade spring/summer 17

Danny Hyland, set designer (created Mimi Wade's set for spring/summer 17)

What's the secret to a great collaboration between a designer and his/her BTS team?
Collaboration - it's all about having the right team who listen to each other and are able to bounce ideas around freely.

What's your creative process like when prepping for shows /do you have any rules when you're working on a show?
I draw from a really large library of references, it's good to speak to the designer and get the influences and themes behind their collection so that it is cohesive with the set, to see any pieces- if they're made yet. I also like to get in and see the space as early on as possible- the tricky bit is marrying my ideas with what is actually possible within the space. I always want to go big!

How will you remember spring/summer 17?
Manic but fun.

Finally, finish this sentence: Backstage is where...
I avoid...especially just before show time!

Richard Malone spring/summer 17

Richard Malone and Lulu Kennedy MBE

What's the secret to a great collaboration between a designer and his/her BTS team?
RM: Staying calm, having roughly the same endgame in mind.
LK: The key is the designer knowing exactly what they're all about, what they want, and being able to communicate it, and no one is more clear on that than Richie. He is wonderfully talented and self-possessed, without ever being self-absorbed, super eloquent and succinct, aka A JOY FOR EVERYONE TO WORK WITH!

What's your creative process like when prepping for shows/do you have any rules when you're working on a show?
RM: Try everything, and then decide... And have no overly stressy people around.
LK: It's a mixture of wanting to leave the designers to get on with it and not bug them, but also wanting to make sure their prep is going vaguely to plan. I end up calling for chats as can really not be doing with bloody emails. Richie is always super organised and calm even when it's all going mental. I don't know if inside he's actually screaming, but he's always got the best banter and gossip.

What's your fondest memory of working on a Fashion East show?
RM: It's always about four seconds before the first model walks out and everything miraculously comes together in a flash.
LK: The time we used a tunnel under Somerset House for our show then later that night for a rave, where Sara Blonstein appeared at midnight loaded up with pizzas with smiley faces made of pepperoni and served them straight from the box to sozzled friends on the dancefloor.

How will you remember spring/summer 17?
RM: So much fun backstage, brilliant music that had all the girls dancing before they walked out and turned on resting bitch face, so funny.
LK: The season 500 people did our head in demanding to be backstage. Ballache.

Finally, finish this sentence: Backstage is where...
RM: All the fun happens and the boozing starts.
LK: Where the wild things are.

Matty Bovan spring/summer 17

Matty Bovan

What's the secret to a great collaboration between a designer and his/her BTS team? 
Communication and being flexible.

What's your creative process like when prepping for shows/do you have any rules when you're working on a show? 
Be as organised as you can be and stay calm. I love seeing it all come together and that final moment. The adrenaline is great!

What's your fondest memory of working on a Fashion East show? 
How nice all the girls and team were to work with. I felt surprisingly calm.

How will you remember spring/summer 17? 
I loved that energy I felt from the whole collection - and the girls.

Finally, finish this sentence: Backstage is where... 
You're on the verge of creative doubt and breakdown, but also the verge of joy.

A.V. Robertson spring/summer 17

Lucy Bridge (A.V. Robertson's make-up artist @ Streeters using M.A.C Cosmetics) 

What's the secret to a great collaboration between a designer and his/her BTS team?
You need to be on the same page with the rest of the team! Research is key and it's always important to find out where the designer got their inspiration from; You always need to do your own to support theirs. It's a partnership, and it's a lot of different ideas from different people. It's about creating something which everyone loves and which WORKS with every aspect of the show - the clothes, hair, nails and set. You have to create something which brings this designer's initial ideas to life, in AV Robertson's case this was 'A TOXIC PARADISE'

What's your creative process like when prepping for shows /do you have any rules when you're working on a show?
I think about all aspects such as up coming trends, new products and colours which can be used and which textures will make the most impact. Research is always key as a start point but you can't let yourself get consumed by it - the best ideas come spontaneously on day of the test! You need to put your own individuality onto the looks you create. I like to work methodically, and really allow myself to think about the best look for that specific designer at the time.

What's your fondest memory of working on a Fashion East show?
This season on the AV Robertson show everyone backstage kept commenting on how much they loved the glittery or glossy lips which were outlined in neon green paint. It was a really great feeling... someone even said it was their favourite look of the season.

How will you remember spring/summer 17?
A Toxic Paradise with neon green mouths, blue glitter and bleached brows!

Finally, finish this sentence: Backstage is where...
The magic happens.

Matty Bovan spring/summer 17

Mimi Wade spring/summer 17

A.V. Robertson spring/summer 17

Credits


Text Steve Salter
Photography Lillie Eiger

Tagged:
Beauty
fashion east
fashion interviews
lucy bridge
richard malone
spring/summer 17
matty bovan
saskia dixie
lillie eiger
danny hyland
lula kennedy