22 May 2015

Backstage at London Bridal Fashion Week!

I had the wonderful opportunity of being able to work backstage at London Bridal Fashion Week these past three days! I was a dresser backstage for the fashion show part of LBFW. I was assigned a model (the lovely Sarah) and I was to help her change from one dress to another. Now there weren't that many models and each model had up to 8 dresses: so the role of dresser was an important one. 

Sarah was lucky/unlucky enough to be in almost all of the shows. This was a challenge for us both, because after every walk she was almost immediately needed again! 
Considering many of these dresses were made with the idea that brides have a morning to get their wedding dress on: many of the 100's of buttons you see aren't made to be buttoned up in 2 minutes.
But we made it it work; we had a whole team of dressers and everyone was hands on board helping me or each other. After a few times, that lace up dress that needed to be unlaced to the bottom to get on, and laced up to the top again in under two minutes, could be done in one minute.
Everyone took initiative and was helping each other out, we were a real team.

Overall, working backstage was a lot of fun. The organised chaos and pressure to get your model dressed just right and on time just had us all pumping on adrenaline the whole time. We loved it.

After show time, we went from an extreme high to a mellow low: watching gossip girl, chatting and steaming dresses, talking tips with the makeup artists, celebrating with a glass of wine with one of the models, Claire, who had just handed in her last university english lit paper that morning, down at the champagne bar. It was a lot of fun: just one giant hang out with all these new people; who had great stories and talents, but all of us with one thing in common: working in fashion.

Aside from the glamour you associate with a VIP backstage access... 
this is what working backstage at London Bridal Fashion Week really looks like!

Building the venue....

Bringing in these delicate beautifully crafted one of a kind goods... by the truck full!

Phoebe testing the runway on rehearsal day. Marieke having a little fun during fittings.

Girls trying on the dresses for the first time.

A beautiful mess.

Sarah and I attempting to look ethereally bridal...

The back to one of my favourite dresses worn by my model Sarah...

The back of one of Phoebe's dresses. Sarah pre-test-catwalk.


The venue was the Old Billingsgate Exhibition centre which was totally transformed for fashion week. We had the best view of the shard and other bits of the City's monuments.

I put on my sunny coloured rain jacket one gloomy morning and by the time I arrived... sun!
Thankfully it was sunny throughout most of the three days!

Enough makeup to paint a room. Or sit on my bathroom shelves. 
They should be on my bathroom shelves.

Camilla, Sharon and I steaming away at our dresses to be ready for the first show!

10:00: buyers, individual customers, and general LBFW attendees flooded into the exhibition room.

Marieke being a goofball t-minus 3 minutes to showtime.  Makeup team dealing with sweater fluff!

Tricky at times: working around fashion publication teams filming backstage.

The lovely Claire and Phoebe ready to walk.

Sarah being a hero and sewing up a dress that ripped down the back mid show! Disaster!

Seeing as this was my favourite dress, once we fixed it, just to be sure it was still pretty, 
I held it up against me and took a picture. (for good measure of course)

Visiting the exhibition downstairs on our lunch break! 

Below: How to tie a perfect bow, and the many lovely faces of Nina.

Sweet bridal decorations at the champagne bar and cafe...

Leanne ready to walk!

Chilling in the exhibition hall with the paper flowers...

Veil galore.

Real flower decorations + a real Josephine decoration...

Phoebe's lovely long train and dress... and chilling with Marieke while getting her makeup done!

The models working at the exhibition trying on dresses for buyers and customers.

Our models upstairs ready to walk the designer dresses down the catwalk.

Makeup team hard at work: and the makeup instruction sheets for each of the four shows that occurred each day. (Alternating from A:Designer and B:Bridal)

Sarah and Nina rocking the red lipstick that was assigned to this designer show!

Most expensive dress backstage being steamed! Yikes.

and lesson learned: sticky tape solves everything. Crisis with Claire's slippery shoulder dress solved!

Group shots, one elegant and one silly! (Don't mind Marieke's missing foot... it's naturally shy)

Leanne enjoying a pre-catwalk lotion massage!!

My two favourite photo's! Marieke, Claire, Phoebe and Leanne.

The sheer and the embroidery and the buttons, oh my! Phoebe's dress. Phoebe again with Leanne! 

Emma and Sarah sitting pretty on the catwalk like two cupcakes! Marieke and the designer of Ritva.

My dresses organised and ready to go. (They needed to be with a two minute quick change!!)

Last show: just as soon as we have it all down to a T.

Camilla and I with our backstage passes.

Half an hour after the show all taken down.

The two snapchats that made it onto the London Story! Seen by 112,000 people!

And that's a wrap! Until next year LBFW!!