I have always loved to volunteer and let my creative side loose with event planning, marketing and writing. And if I have a chance to plan and direct a fashion show...I AM IN! I directed my second fashion show at the beginning of 2016 and it was more than amazing!
I thought it would be fun to bring my experience to the blog and give you all a little taste of fashion show planning! Since there are many ways to put on a show and plan an event, I decided to share some steps/tips/ideas in groups of five X3.
1. Pick your squad: And choose wisely. Too many cooks in the kitchen = chaos. What traits do you want your committee to have? What 4 or 5 qualities will bring the group together and work it? For the Wear Your Heart Fashion Show we had a planning committee of 4. Each of us had our "thing" and then we took on additional tasks as needed. Everything ran smoothly for the most part and we didn't need to worry about stepping on each others toes. We planned it out and made it happen.
[TIP] Just because you have a small committee doesn't mean you HAVE to do all the work! Gather a group of a dozen or so "day of" helpers to be on hand for anything and everything. Separate the group out between setup/1st half and 2nd half/cleanup.
2. Pick your charity: What cause is near and dear to you? What would you like to bring to the attention of your local community, friends and family? Pick your cause and shout it from the roof tops...show everyone that you are motivated to take a stand and motivate everyone watching to support and become as passionate as you are.
[TIP] Pick ONE point of contact at the charity you choose. Find out the best way to contact this person, whether via telephone, email or in person weekly meetings. Always keep lines of communication open, as things will come up, issues will need resolution and questions will need answers. The key is keeping things consistent between all parties..
3. Venue: Pick a location with endless opportunities to decorate, create and make the space fit every aspect of your event, theme (YES! very important) and message. Visit the venue before you book & pay a deposit. Throw ideas around. Ask lots of questions. LOTS. If you want to use a certain part of the event space for a specific thing, ask. Don't wait till the day of, then ask and get let down because it can't happen the way you need it to. Be prepared.
[TIP] Make sure you discuss the details with your venue. The details being your preferences, ideas, room design...etc. and also the rules and policies of your venue. Dot those i's and cross the t's. Sign a contract! If they don't require one, draft one that works for both parties. SIGN A CONTRACT.
4. Clothing: This is soooo the fun part! And the part that takes a ton of organizing, coordinating and research. Models...who are they? Both men and women? And your audience...is your show geared towards a certain age range/gender/type of person OR everyone? My recommendation is to reach out to and connect to EVERYONE in your audience. Men, women, different shapes & sizes. This will help sell tickets and bring in big crowds, because there will be something for everyone on the runway. For my last fashion show we worked primarily with TJ Maxx but also brought in 2 specialty boutiques to add a little glam and unique style. Gather sizing info. from your models ahead of time and make sure everyone can be accommodated and feel comfortable with the clothing locations.
[TIP] Wondering about shoes?! If your clothing sponsors are also willing to loan out shoes for the show, keep masking tape on hand in your styling kit. Before the models walk the runway, tape the soles of the shoes, so that there will not be any dirt or scuff marks. Then simply peel off before you return to the sponsor!
5. Models: The models are just as important as the cause and raising awareness! Who do you know? Who does your best friend know? Oh, the police chief lives next door? Great, reach out to him/her! Reach out to anyone and everyone and always always ask extras. Do you want to have 20 models walk the runway? Ask 30-35 people. Variety is KEY everyone! Different ages, shapes, sizes and careers. Work hard to keep things diverse, as your attendees want to see people they can relate to. Who do you want to see in the audience? Who are you trying to connect with? Market the event right and make sure those people fill up the seats the night of.
[TIP] Get a commitment from each model in writing. Sure, things come up and life happens, but asking for something in writing (via email works!) will not only show that you are taking this event seriously but will encourage the model/participant to be fully involved and take their role seriously as well.
There you have it! Director's Cut One and few peeks into our venue, the Wear Your Heart theme & decor and our fabulous committee! Parts two and three will be coming soon, so stay tuned. Have you ever planned an event like this or modeled in one? Have any stories or tips to share?
Be Well & Sparkle,
All photos from the Wear Your Heart Fashion Show were taken by Meredith of MGC Photography