Katie Shillingford on why giant Elizabethan neck ruffs are not Eurostar friendly.
24th Sept Wednesday - 27th Sept Saturday
I arrived in Paris on Wednesday ahead of fashion week in preparation for Gareth Pugh's show, which I style. Gareth, his studio team, myself and my assistant Nell got the Eurostar at 5am carrying many of the ruff pieces that were too precious to be sent. After running for the train and being screamed at by tourists who claimed we had too much luggage we all collapsed on the train and woke up in Paris!
We went straight to the studio to start work- unpacking the collection that had been sent ahead, partly from London and partly from the factory in Italy; and separating it into the relevant groups - ruffs, vents, eel skin, organza, nylon pleat, plastic and leather appliqué. We met up with James, our casting director later and gave him our final wish list for girls we wanted in the show.
On Thursday we spent the whole day working on looks- trying everything on our fitting model Alice and eliminating the pieces we didn't think were strong enough for the show. Meanwhile, Gareth's studio elves were busy working on the finishing touches to the collection.
By Friday we had a good idea of the exact looks and the running order of the show starting with the ruff pieces and finishing in the geometric leather appliqué group - the entire collection is white from the front and black from the back including ruffs, leggings, catsuits, gloves, shoes, jewellery and so on.
At 1pm on Friday our first girl arrived for her fitting-the lovely Kim Noorda who we allocated a very sophisticated tropical wool trench and cricket pad trousers. The fittings went on until 10pm when our last girl, Natalia Chabanenko was fitted into the armoured ruff outfit (number 3) and her second outfit of plastic appliqué trench and leggings. I spent the next 2 hours working out a solution to get the Judy Blame jewellery over to Paris after our first messenger had fallen through. Luckily, Sophy Robson, our nail technician was getting the first flight and saved the day! After doing the model board and look cards we finally went to bed at 4am.
But I think it was worth it, the show went well - all the models turned up, the hair and make-up looked amazing and no one fell over! We did miss a look but c'est la vie!