Is It All Chaos? Behind The Scenes 101


A fashion show would not be its best without a hint of chaos here and there, let’s be honest! The key to controlling the chaos is organization! I got first-hand experience and felt the adrenaline rush of working behind the scenes and also interning with a particular scene called “Off with their Heads” coordinated by Ashley Arter for the 23rd annual fashion show here at GCC; Fashion Forward.

I have to say it was an awesome experience! I was hands on with everything and anything she needed help with. For Ashley’s scene she hand made all her pieces that the models would walk the runway in. The models looked amazing in her Alexander McQueen inspired designs. I was very happy that she chose me to help her with scene and that I had the opportunity to gain the experience of working back of the house and interning. Let me tell you that being an intern was not an easy job, but a very important one at that. I was to be present at every dress rehearsal, fitting, and run through up until the show day. Which I didn’t mind because hello that’s what being an intern is!

On the day of the show I would say that the one thing that is the most important besides having everything completed is timing! Timing is the aspect of the show that can either make it or break it, and working back of the house is all timing. Each person in her scene, including myself, models, and other helpers were to be there at the same exact time; got to stay professional! Making sure everyone was present and ready to go was the major start to the day. Setting the room up was the next. From foiling the windows, moving the desks to be able to maneuver, setting up hair and makeup stations, and then getting all the garments on rolling racks with names of the models on them for easy and efficient dressing. No food or drink whatsoever in the room! Next was to get everyone situated and go right in to hair and makeup; there is absolutely no time to spare! Ashley and I worked on all the models; she worked more on the hair aspect, and I took on the makeup, which personally was fun for me! When the last smoky eye was finished, and the last spritz of hair spray was sprayed, it was then outfit time. This got a little chaotic, not going to lie. Not to say that it was rushed, but we were crunched for time because the hair and makeup took longer to perfect. Luckily, since we organized the pieces during set up it was easier to get the girls into their outfits. Once everyone was checked in their- last looks it was time for the lineup. Each model was appointed a certain spot based off the order of the clothing in which the scene would take place and ultimately make sense. Lined up and ready to go in the hallway to walk down the runway, there was one last very important step made; the infamous GUM CHECK. With that taken care of we were right on schedule making it down right on time before Ashley’s scene was to go on. We were behind the curtain with the models who were lined up and ready to go. We did a super quick garment check one last time. All the bows were tied, zippers up, and hair in place. Now the timing of the scene was practiced over many times in rehearsals, the first model knew exactly when to walk out as soon as the music started. This was the most anticipated part of the entire day, if the timing was off, the whole scene would not work. But she nailed it and the scene went just as planned and ended right on time! Ashley was ecstatic and I was happy to be a part of her final grade.

All the nail biting, worrying, absolutely draining and tedious rehearsals, and nonstop work was all worth it. It was two minutes of perfection. The chaotic feeling made for an even sweeter victory. The experience I gained and knowledge I took away from doing back of the house and being an intern gave me skills that I will carry onto other jobs and tasks in the fashion industry. I am excited to be working back of the house again for this year’s fashion show and am looking forward to the final outcome of everyone’s hard work and dedication. So is it really all chaos? I’d have to say yes but it makes for a great show!

This blog was contributed by Fashion Merchandising Student Chelsae Murphy.

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