Our Fashion Show – By Emma Stanton

The end of year fashion show has always been an event I have been excited about when I was looking at the fashion and textiles course here at Farnborough college of technology, it was a big selling point for me. When we were unable to participate last year due to COVID I was worried I would never be able to be part of this experience however, we were very fortunate to be able to take part this year and I have enjoyed every second of it. As a class we had very little knowledge of what actually needed to happen to create a successful fashion show event, the only experience we had ever received was at Top Model and fashion show events when we helped work back stage. Although this was a huge help in learning the kind of organisational skills you need backstage and all the check boxes you need to tick before the event can actually start, like fitting models and getting them lined up, it didn’t prepare us how to actually set up a fashion show.

As a class we started with the most important part, the location. We came up with a few ideas: the aviator, Audi garage and the zeppelin hanger and from there we drafted emails expressing our interest for the venue and it wasn’t long until we received emails back. The aviator had declined but we were excited to have received positive responses back from the Audi garage and the Zeppelin hanger. We concluded that the Zeppelin hanger would be an amazing location that had striking architecture, and a suitable place for the runway. I coordinated with Lisa Jones, the lady who offered the venue to us, and set up meetings so we could talk about our visions and the technicalities of it all, we came in with a long list of questions to help us make this the most successful fashion show we could.

Once we sorted out the venue we had to start planning everything else, and to no surprise that to do list was very long. We had to consider models, publicity, lighting, music, goody bags for VIP guests, invitations, guest lists, media etc. We were very fortunate this year to have a great selection of parents to help us out. My parents run an industrial design company that specialises in bespoke electronic products including lighting (EMP Designs LTD). We were very fortunate that they volunteered to help supply and run lighting for our fashion show. My classmate Mia’s parents run a printing company called Prontaprint. Prontaprint offered to print all our promotional stuff. They supplied our booklets at a discounted price and our invites, t-shirts, tote bags and banners were given to us for free. Esther’s father is a musician and offered to supply all sound equipment as well as mixing our songs for the show. Rhys’s mother supplied stationary for our goody bags and Ana manged to get us stunning cakes at a discounted price from a friend. We are very grateful for their help and we wouldn’t have had such a successful show without them. We then turned to the College for our digital platform. We manged to get the photography and the media department to help us document and film the entire day, some behind the seen footage and the event itself. We have managed to capture some amazing photos of our garments thanks to the photography department and we were able to get the whole show live streamed and filmed for us thanks to the media department. Both departments were so helpful and helped catch such a memorable show for us. We sent out further emails to local companies to see if they would want to donate anything further to help support our show, from this we received several drinks and cakes from Morrisons, a balloon arch from bubble gum balloons and a discounted price from Longacres, we couldn’t be more grateful for these donations. A huge thank you does need to go to Eniko Odor, who spent many evenings helping photograph our garments as well as the 1st years garments to put inside our booklet. A huge thank you to the Hair and Beauty Academy who also volunteered their time to help prep models on the day. All these people above and so many more made our fashion show a reality and we couldn’t have done it without them.

Once everything was prepped it was a waiting game until the 20th June, the eve of the fashion show. We were all in and we started prepping garments, goody bags, running orders, finalising guest lists and creating time pans for the next day. We worked with the 1st years and divided the jobs between us to try and make the day as efficient and organised as possible, with the help of Caz who was subbing in for Sam who unfortunately was recovering from COVID. We tackled all our jobs and came out of the day feeling prepared and organised for the 21st.

We finally reached show day, and I think everyone was filled with excitement and nerves, I know I was. The main task for the morning was prepping the models. At 9:30 the majority of our models came in and we started fitting models to garments. The 1st year students allocated their garments to a model and then reported to me so I could type up what models were wearing what garment, so we could go into the event being as prepared as possible. This took a few hours to do, making sure we tried to get the best fittings on each of the garments. Throughout this we had models going into hair and makeup, before the event Rhys and Esther had collated a mood board full of images of the aesthetic we were going for to help the hair and makeup team. Once everyone was fitted and was done with hair and makeup we then got them changed again ready for a photoshoot lead by some of the photography students, Rhys led the shoot, helping models with poses and stances to try and show of the garments as best as possible. We focused our energy on the 1st years dress and group projects and the 2nd years final major project garments as these hadn’t been photographed before. Whilst this was going on everyone took the time to have a break whilst I finalised the model list and a couple of the 1st years started to load everything up onto the vans to be transported to the venue. At 2:30 the first van loads got sent down to the venue and the balloon arch arrived so a couple of us went down to collect the delivery and help start unloading at the other end. At 3:00 everyone else went down to the venue via me who stayed up to pack the rest of the stuff up. Eventually I made it to the venue and started to help with the set up. We put up the marquees first and we made sure all the garments were in order. I then helped a bit everywhere to make sure everything was organised and in the right place. Whilst this was going on EMP designs where setting up lighting, Simon Windisch was setting up sound and the media department were setting up screens and the live stream. Everything was going smoothly with little stress; the excitement was building. Whilst I organised everything out back Rhys, Ana and Sam started helping the models with practice walks, making sure they knew what to do. We eventually got to 6:45 and I started organising models into their first outfits with the help of my peers and the 1st years. We had Lareen and a couple of the 1st years helping at the entrance with Sam greeting guests and running the cake stand. The show eventually started and the pace back stage increased a lot. I hadn’t predicted how fast paced I would need to work but everyone quickened their pace and helped me out. We eventually adapted and the models really helped us out. The event went pretty smoothly after that and went really quickly. Everyone backstage, the 1st and 2nd years, models and Lareen were a huge help and deserve a huge thank you. Eventually the show came to an end and we could all take a deep breath. The show was a huge success and I’m really proud of everyone and really grateful to everyone who helped us. The venue looked stunning with everything set up and I was really happy that everything came together. The next stage was packing up which went really smoothly.

I can’t speak for everyone but it was really emotional after the fashion show because as this was the final part of the course before we finished, it was weird to see it come to an end after two solid years of hard work and dedication. I will definitely miss this course and all the people I have met within it and I want to give a last big thank you to Sam and Lareen who has supported through these two years, especially during COVID, and has set us up for university really well.

Emma Stanton

Fashion and Textiles Year 2

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