Lighting a Haute Couture Fashion Show at

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Old January 13th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Lighting a Haute Couture Fashion Show

I have a client in Ann Arbor, MI. that is thinking about presenting a hautre couture fashion show. Rebecca Lambers is one of the most talented fashion designers in southeast Michigan as you can tell by visiting her website: She wants to showcase her dresses, pant suits, blouses, scarfs and these incredible flowers she makes in the best way possible.
I hesitate to call her a dressmaker or seamstress as what she does with cloth and fabric and the human form is art.

Anyway, we are planning on a 40 foot runway and lighting is critical to getting good video from the three camera shoot that will eventually be on her website.

Anyone out there have any cool ideas for a lighting design?

Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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Old January 14th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #2
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I've seen it done in NYC plenty of times. any creative lighting is done on the background. catwalk lighting is pretty straight forwards and fairly neutral because **ITS ABOUT THE CLOTHES** not how cool your lighting is. for a small job like this 30-60 lecos/ source 4's will work nicely. depends on how high the ceiling is. a controlled dimmer pack can be used for doing things between entrances, and on the BG. I've done a few jobs like this. its not a big rental as stage lighting is pretty cheap, but you will need 1-2 days of rigging time depending on crew size and how many lifts you can get. forget ladders unless its a 12-15ft grid. you'll need to hang truss or black pipe. if its a drop ceiling its easy to open up and find attach points. many hotels have points on their hard ceilings ready to go. you can use chain motors if you want it simple and rig on the floor, then pull up. you can also attach at height and use lifts to rig & wire. don't under estimate the time it takes doing this. use a gaffer/rigger who knows what they are doing, which might mean a person or two from the rental co.
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Old January 15th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #3
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Everything that Steve says...

Plus, make sure the POWER is adequate.

Rigging too much wattage for the available supply can draw down incandescents into the yellow spectrum - VERY bad for reproducing colors well.

You'll also want to create a pretty flat lighting field from front to back, side to side along the length of the catwalk so that there's little to no shadows ANYWHERE.

Tungsten is OK. HMI or Halogen is even better (purer light - higher CRI=color rendering index)

It's what Steve said. It's ALL about the fashions. So everyone must be able to see the actual reality of the clothes - all along the runway - from any angle - without shadows or coloration.

Good luck
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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #4
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Here are some links to pages with links to lots of photos and videos of runway fashion shows. From the shadows on the models and the floor and (the lack of light on the audience) you get a good idea of different ways this shows are lit.

Here are a couple of "fun" articles on the world of "Runway Fashion":
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Old January 16th, 2008, 10:31 AM   #5
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI
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Thanks guys. I will pass along this information to Rebecca Lambers and see if there is a reasonable lighting company in Ann Arbor, Michigan that can follow your fashion show suggestions and make this Haute Couture event possible.
Jacques Mersereau
University of Michigan-Video Studio Manager
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #6
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I am filming a fashion show next weekend, one man job, XHA1, tripod and not much else. What you recommend for shooting option? There might be some after party to be filmed as well, what would it be recommended? I do have a small 4 LED on camera light that helps.
ps. how do I post a new thread?
Thank you for the help, Erick.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 05:04 AM   #7
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You will not hear me say this very often, but if you don't know what you are doing and don't have the proper equipment, and trust me, if you ask how to do it here you don't. Leave it alone and hire a stage lighting company or the show will turn into a disaster, both aesthetically for the fashion and for the video productions; not to mention the safety factor.

I worked on many and many fashion shows in the past and there are certain times that you must let others do the job.
NinoMedia Productions - Advanced Lighting and Gripping Workshops
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