Behind the catwalk at Bristol Fashion Week

Fashion Weeks are all about perfection. Whether it be choosing the order of the designers or simply making sure the clothes are pressed; the outwards appearance is everything. That means that those in the fashion industry have to dedicate themselves to the runway for months to achieve this. Bristol Fashion Week was no exception.

Fi Plummer, 19, a UWE Fashion student who was working behind the scenes said, ‘People who come to watch don’t realise the work that goes on backstage. I was working 13 hours a day most days.’

The set of 18 fashion shows, presenting the Spring/Summer 2014 collections of high street labels such as River Island, Coast and Oasis, ran from the 26th to the 30th March.

Fi, whose main responsibilities were to style the models and to steam, press and order the different sets of clothes, said: ‘The atmosphere was so hectic, I learnt so much about the runway process in such a small amount of time. You have to throw yourself into it completely to get everything done.’

With all of the stress to achieve the perfect look, it would be understandable if tension ran high between the people working. However, it seems that the atmosphere backstage stayed professional and friendly at all times.

‘The models were all so comfortable with each other, and with us and the stylists.

The only thing that shocked me was that the models would come off the runway and even though they had only minutes to change, they would just drop down on the floor and do hundreds of sit ups. They’re just programmed differently because of what they do.’

She also admitted that despite the stereotype of the fashion world being bitchy, the head stylist of the event made the effort to spend time with the backstage crew.

‘He was so friendly; I don’t know how he managed it. He would be mid-conversation and be organising dozens of models simultaneously. He worked so hard to make things just right.’

As she was lucky enough to get a heads up about which trends will be next making an appearance in the shops, Fi knows what to follow.

‘Monochrome is still really popular, but it is being blended with pastel shaded accessories now. There was an outfit for River Island that was a black jumper, a black and white skirt and salmon shoes that sold out during the show. I think those styles are so appealing because they suit everyone, no matter their shape or colouring.’

What was the highlight for Fi?

‘Watching the finale of the last show was amazing because I had bonded with my model and I got to see her wear all of my hard work. Honestly, I would recommend working on a fashion show for anyone because it was the best experience.’


Image: Fi Plummer

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