The Secrets Behind the Show…
What a week!
London Fashion week kicked off as usual with hoards of stylish fashion bloggers and chic glitterati members lining the front rows of shows. But the question is... did you see the best bit?! The debut of Jess Collett Milliners hats on the Runway!!
We’ve been holding onto a little secret for a while now and are so happy it’s out in the open. This week we presented a bespoke collection of Jess Collett Milliner hats made just for the Emilia Wickstead AW19 show, at La Caprice in Mayfair. We are so honoured to have this opportunity and loved every minute of the experience.
We loved seeing the inner workings of a high-end fashion show during London fashion week and it was a privilege to be invited backstage to help dress and organise the looks with Emilia Wickstead. It was, as you can imagine, rather manic. But all in all the process went smoothly and we got to see why they are the pros.
The show was set in La Caprice, a swanky, fine dining restaurant located just behind the glamorous Ritz. We adored the unusual choice of location for the show as it gave it an intimate exclusive feel. The backstage area, however was less swanky and was set in the juxtaposing basement car park. The car park setting gave Emilia’s usually whimsical and dreamy dresses a new found edge that paired well with her godfather inspired collection. The heritage of the film and Sofia Coppola’s character Mary Corleone, featured as her muse this season prompting a contrasting mix of masculine suit jackets, dark brown pleather draping and luscious velvet ballgowns and plunging velvet dresses. Jess was asked to create hats that matched this theme and topped the outfits with style.
Jess made 10 hats covered in Emilia’s beautiful fabric. The hats were picked up as and when they were ready and were taken straight to fittings to be styled with the outfits. We took the last two hats along right at the last minute on the Monday evening. One of the most interesting things to see was that the looks can change right up until they go on the runway. Accessories were being assigned to looks the day before but were still switched around and some even taken out right before the show!
When we arrived at the show we were greeted by Emilia’s lovely team and PR company. After receiving the postcard that sits on the front row and seeing the brand name listed, we took a backseat, nibbled on some popcorn (literally, they sponsored the show) and just watched the excitement get started. Once the models were out of hair and makeup, things started t get a little more serious. Models were dressed by teams of dressers while har and makeup done some final primping. Each model had around 5-10 people around them either fixing their hair, steaming their clothes, stitching things into place last minute or physically dressing them in the gowns, gloves, jewellery and everything else. At this point Jess got stuck in!
She was called upon to fix the hats in place and ensure that they would not fly off on the runway – because what could be worse? Jess made her way around each look that featured a hat working with hair and makeup to make sure that they were sitting correctly and essentially glued into place!
Fun Fact: We all had to wear little blue hospital booties in the dressing area to ensure the floor was kept clean so that the dresses went down the runway in pristine condition.
Once the models were dressed to perfection they lined up ready to be checked by Emilia Wickstead. Each model had 30 seconds with Emilia and a hand sewer who ensured that everything was stitched and styled into the perfect place. By this point the show was running a few minutes fashionably late!
The girls then went from Emilia’s hands straight onto a backdrop where they were photographed one by one for the look book. We thought this was great to see, as it really is an efficient way of killing two birds with one stone and keeping costs down. The girls then lined up against the basement wall ready to walk upstairs to the runway, but not of course without being photographed by a swarm of photographers first. This is where Jess and I dived in again and tried to get the best backstage photos, while wresting with (rather riled) top industry photographers!
As the girls walked out of the basement, we all got our final shots and videos and retreated to the big screen to see the sow commence. Silence fell as everyone took a sigh of relief and just enjoyed watching the beautiful clothes hit the runway. We live streamed as much as we could straight to our followers on instagram. As the last look walked out the champagne was poured and a small outburst of clapping and cheering emerged to celebrate all the hard work that everyone had put in. Emilia and her entourage came back downstairs with the models where they joined in the champagne drinking and a lovely bit of mingling.
Emilia thanked Jess and came over for a chat, inviting us both to come to the after party at a local Mayfair pub. We nipped over just for a few drinks and had the chance to meet all of the team and her lovely stylist. Emilia Wickstead team were all truly wonderful and accommodating, they all loved the hats as much as we did! The night was a true celebration of craft and fashion and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
To view all for the show pictures check them out here.
We also loved Noel Stewarts hats this week for the Erdem show. Check this out here.