In a previous life before fashion, I used to help organise conferences. Nothing huge – 150 delegates, 3 days, special guests, formal banquets, evening entertainment – that sort of thing.
I’ve often been tempted to use these skills to organise fashion events. But, to be honest, I have always thought better of it. Organising a fashion show is hard work. It’s incredibly difficult to fund and the outgoings are always more than you can make. So you have to find creative ways of recouping the difference. This is largely because everyone wants paying, and noone wants to pay you. As we know, something for nothing is a common standpoint on anything fashion based and everyone will want to haggle with you.
I’ve been involved in a few shows in the last 5 years, but have always been glad that I hadn’t had a more formal role other than providing a collection and dressing the models, which, when you have already paid for the priviledge, is quite enough.
Next month, the 8th April in fact, I will be partaking in my first show of 2017 here in Manchester. It promises to be my biggest yet and I am inspired by its organiser Courtney McAllister at Flawless Events, and her bravery for taking on such a huge task. Her sheer enthusiasm and the work that has gone in so far is testament to nerves of steel.
Not only do we have the Mercure Hotel for our venue, with chandeliers and raised catwalk to grace the formal event room, but it’s a full black tie sit down 3-course dinner with special guests, entertainment and three Manchester based designers. To me it’s a bargain for what you get.
The problem with fashion shows (that’s shows not exhibitions like LFW) at any end of the scale is getting anyone to part with money for tickets. Many small designers, myself included, are frustrated by a lack of exhibition space available on catwalks for our collections. Bigger shows are far too expensive for our small and limited budgets and largely we aren’t important enough to be invited to larger events. But without the air time what is there left for us? Instagram? Twitter? YouTube?
Small designers need catwalk opportunities as much as the big brands. And it requires the vision of small organisers and designers, to get up and make the shows happen. It also needs the dedication of its fans to put their money where their mouth is, buy tickets and turn up. Because if you don’t come to these shows, there will be no shows. And then what for small designers?
So please come and support us. The details are below. There are just 10 days left for you to buy tickets. Thank you.