This weekend we were invited to the Identities Fashion Show, Harvard’s preeminent fashion event pairing student catwalk models with renowned designers. We arrived a few hours before the show started to get a behind the scenes look at its making.
It’s always interesting to see the nitty gritty details that go behind the polished products we ultimately enjoy. While neither of us have any real “Fashion Week” experience (hopefully one day!), we liken the backstage process of Identities to be a rather fair representation of runway shows in general: the ubiquity of those anxious minutes before the lights go down, the music turns up, and the first model steps out onto the runway. People — models, makeup artists, coordinators — run around frantically. A girl’s shorts are on backwards, another messed with her makeup, “Does my face blend in with my hair?” a friend asks, “Foundation is like sauce for you face” we overhear in the makeup room.
We manage to sneak into some of the quiet rooms backstage and muse through racks of clothing and runway lineups.
While we don’t have ample opportunity to speak with the designers or people behind the show, most express a mix of nervous anticipation and excitement. One model, who wears a funky 3D piece with arms attached, recalls how at last year's show she wore a bikini with sneakers, so she's feeling a little more relaxed in this year’s less revealing ensemble.
As the final run-through transitions into VIP lounging, red carpet pictures, and general mingling, the room buzzes with enthusiasm. People gather and dance with friends. The photo strip and red carpet establish the night's etiquette: shameless selfies and lots of them. We take the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the pre-show social conventions and snap some Mod & Bean team pics in front of the Identities backdrop.
We peruse around show-goers and show-coordinators, happen upon a table serving JP Licks ice cream, and meet some of the designers from China Central Academy of Fine Arts.
Spotting one of the designer's sick street style, we ask to take a picture of her outfit. She excitedly shares with us that she hand crafted everything she's wearing. When asked how often she designs for herself, she remarks that she makes around twenty new pieces a month. Duly impressed and jealous, we dream of being able to curate our own wardrobes with such personal precision.
Before we know it, the show begins, we find our seats, and the night gets under way. Venture below to check out some of our favorite runway and behind the scenes shots:
Sitting at the end of the runway amidst eager photographers and the event's official cinematographer, gave us a sense of importance. Fully immersed in each dress twirl, each piercing, smoldering look of the eyes, we couldn’t have had a better night. Suffice it to say, acting as mild press for Identities gave us a taste of similar opportunities to come – crossing our fingers!
Xx, Katherine & Maia
All photos by Katherine