Runway Backstage 101

Something that I do pretty often as a stylist is dress models for runway shows. I started doing this about two and half years ago, and it has been a HUGE training ground as to how to be a better stylist. I've learned what clothes are best for the runway, how to do a model lineup, what a good runway walk looks like, etc. So, for those of you wanting to pursue fashion styling, here are a couple of tips to prepare you for backstage at runway shows.

1. Wear all black - It's professional. Think of runway like the theater and of yourself as a stagehand. All black is the way to go.

2. Wear flat, closed toe shoes - Usually you're on your feet for a good 6-8 hours for a runway event. You want to be comfortable. You also wanted be protected from your toes being stepped on, rolling racks rolling over you, pins sticking you, etc.

3. Unzip & unbutton everything before the show starts - Your models will love you forever if you remember to do this because it will help clothing changes move faster!

4. Put accessories in lunch baggies and hang them with each look - That way you can keep track of all of the jewelry and know that it's in a safe spot

5. Line clothes up left to right with the front of the outfit facing left - This is how people read, and this is how you look at clothes. Next time you're in a store look at how they organize their racks. It's just like this. This will help you stay organized and your models know what look comes first, second third, etc.

6. Use the model's comp card to mark their rack - Every model usually has a card with their name and head shots. Place this to the left or right of a rolling rack. That way models know what clothes are theirs and wear to put their belongings.

7. Lay out shoes for each look and put a sticky note with the number that corresponds to the look on the pair of shoes - Every look has a number for a runway show, and sometimes during the chaos of changing models can forget what goes with what. These numbers will help dressers and models keep track.

8. Clip all tags and place them in a zip lock bag before the show - There's nothing worse than seeing a sales tag flapping down the runway. It's in the details!

9. Be critical - Everything shows under the bright lights of the runway. Threads, wrinkles, missed buttons, zippers that aren't up all of the way, bows that are sloppily tied can all be distractions from the performance.

10. Runway shows exist to sell clothes - Remember who your client is and what the goal is. Sell their clothes! You'll have a happy client if you do everything in your power to make that happen!

Photos: What Would Kiki Wear, To Young, unknown, They All Hate Us, Dormify, The Live I will Live