A Front Row Seat

Non-stop action found along the ‘cat walks’ of the fashion world.

New York, London, Milan, Paris every season the four biggest fashion capitals of the world are taken over by beautiful models, celebrities, designers, editors and buyers. From the energy of the backstage to the star-studded front rows the “fash pack” arrives and takes each city by storm.

“The buzz of a catwalk show is like nothing else,” purrs fashion designer Henry Holland. “Being backstage with the models all lined up, ready to walk out in your collection, feels so exhilarating.”

As a fashion photographer the catwalk shows are a never-ending arena of inspiration. It’s a privilege to see the new collections first-hand in their fully styled glory on the runway way before they hit the stores. I also shoot street-style outside the shows so I get to see how the best in the business take their favorite pieces from the collections and style them up in their own unique way. I love this aspect of my work.

“The most enjoyable thing is to dress up at every catwalk show, just like going to an exclusive theatre premier,” exclaims Anna Dello Russo of Vogue Japan.

As new trends take over the runways, a selection of shows will leave behind a story to tell and their own piece of fashion history. I will never forget the first time I saw Kate Moss on the catwalk at the Autumn/Winter 2010 Louis Vuitton women’s wear show in Paris. Kate made the audience gasp out load as she strutted down the runway in knee-high lace up leather boots and hot pants every inch the dominatrix, smoking a cigarette – and on no smoking day no less. I certainly don’t condone smoking but to me Kate is the epitome of cool. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
“The moment when a show transcends clothing and a designer’s vision becomes a cadence of true beauty – that’s what I enjoy seeing on the catwalk,” shares Jefferson Hack, co-founder of Dazed and Confused Magazine.

The elusive front row seat has become in some cases just as much of a talking point as the collections themselves. The excitement of waiting to see who will sit in the best seats and what they will wear is something I really look forward to. At the Autumn/Winter 2010 Marc Jacobs women’s wear show in New York both Madonna and Lady Gaga sat front row however they chose to take their seats just after the first model had appeared on the runway. This of course drove the front row photographers wild trying to figure out how to make their move and get their shots once the show had finished. The catwalk shows are fantastic for keeping the audience on the edge of their seats.

“Being in the front row is like 1,001 first nights; a seat at the opera, the ballet, the theatre,” explains Hilary Alexander, Fashion Director at The Daily Telegraph. “When the lights go down, you never know what is going to happen or what you are going to see. Encore, Bravo!”