Sunday, September 11, 2011

"Mercedes Benz Fashion Week NYC 2011"

Alton DuLnaney, Set Designer, MBFW NYC 2011.
It's that season again in NYC, the temperature is slightly cooler and fashion is crackling in the air. This week is also Fashion Week in NYC. As Set Designer for one of the shows in The Tents at Lincoln Center, I was on-hand for the festivities, and bring you a behind-the-scenes look at some of what goes on in preparing for a fashion show.

Above, the Set Designer posing with the Sponsor, Mercedes Benz. I like the Motto: The Best Or Nothing! My sentiments exactly.

As Set Designer for the fashion designer Monique Lhuillier, I took inspiration from her debuting collection to produce a complimentary and flattering back drop to present her designs. 

Set Design, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
Of course, before that 10 minutes of glamor and paparazzi, there is a lot of work to be done. Here, in the studio, the scenic painters are preparing the hand-painted muslin that will be stretched to cover the runway.
Set Design, MBFW, NYC, 2011.

Later, in The Tents at Lincoln Center, the crew begins the laborious task of laying down the runway.
First, 4x8' sections of MDF are laid out in the shape of the runway, in this case an 88 feet long "U" shaped runway.

Set Design, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
Then the painted muslin is laid out, carefully pieced together like a puzzle. The space we are working in is called "The Theater" and is the largest venue at The Tents during Fashion Week.

Set Design, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
Next, the very talented and patient crew, work diligently to stretch the muslin over the runway, making sure everything is perfectly aligned and tight, without wrinkles or imperfections. For the back-wall, we use a bright white drop with a 14" baseboard running across the bottom, to add an architectural element.

Monique Lhuillier, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
After the lighting is perfected and the sound is cued, it is SHOWTIME. Above the first model makes her way down the runway.
Monique Lhuillier, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
The collection included bold color blocking and stark use of color, from cobalt blue to cadmium yellow, to fuchsia, a departure for the designer best known for her bridal collect. The fashion was both daring and elegant, and looked great against the crisp white back drop and as the models glided down the stripped runway (if I do say so myself!)

Monique Lhuillier, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
The finally was an army of gorgeous women in evening gowns, marching off to a gala or red-carpet event. Speaking of, there were plenty of celebrities in the audience, eying what they might soon be wearing to their own event.
Mandy Moore at MBFW, NYC, 2011.
Spotted on the front row was Mandy Moore (pictured above), Rose McGowan, Robert Verdi, Miss Jay. and others,  as well as all the editors and media.
Monique Lhuillier, MBFW, NYC, 2011.
The show was well received, and backstage, the celebrities, the press, and the fans all flocked to congratulate Monique Lhuillier on her edgy new collection. Above, George Whipple from NY1 interviews Monique.

Overall it was a great experience - hard work that paid off with a beautiful and glamorous show.

To see out more of the show, check out

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