USC Fashion Week, April 11-15, 2011

Well, as you may have guessed, USC Fashion Week is not just one fashion show, or even one day of fashion shows.  It is, in fact, a week long event, as the name suggests.  This, of course, means that we here at Fashion Board are responsible for planning a week’s worth of entertainment, which is no small task.  In addition to the main event (the actual fashion show), USCFW also includes an educational symposium, a service event and a scholarship fundraiser.  But, who wants to hear about learning or helping people?  Let’s skip to the good stuff for now.

More goes into putting on a fashion show than meets the dismissive eye; it’s not actually all about clothes and shoes and super skinny girls stomping around to techno music.  You know all those people taking the models’ pictures like they’re freaking Lindsay Lohan?  Yeah, we hire them.  You know how awesome the atmosphere of the show is?  Hello, we don’t just come and go as we please in that building, and we definitely don’t do so for free. Everything takes money, and when you’re like us and don’t have much of it, everything takes budgeting.

The executive members of Fashion Board work hours upon hours planning the budget to allot funding for necessary costs from venues, to printing costs, to hairdressers and makeup artists.  They initiate contact with boutique owners, student designers and models and evaluate their skill level to ensure the quality of the production. They practice, practice, practice and then market and advertise and promote it all to death so that we can sell the number of tickets it takes to make the show a success.  In addition to a full-fledged photographic ad campaign, Fashion Board designs a special logo specifically for USC Fashion Week that adorns every USCFW-related print material.

On the day of the show, volunteers from Fashion Board arrive as early as 2PM to begin putting together the set and organizing the looks for each model.  Eventually, our job becomes ushering crowds, dressing models and remaining calm when a million girly-girls who think their issues are the most important start freaking out.  In short, there’s a reason the techno music plays so loud at fashion shows: it’s to muffle the chaos going on backstage.

After all the fun has been had, our day still isn’t over.  We all stick around (emphasis: we will ALL stick around, people!) to help deconstruct the set, fold up all the clothing and complain about the long day we’ve had.  We love to hate our jobs at this point, but really, we hate to love it, because even though it’s midnight and our feet hurt and we all have tests at 8AM that we haven’t studied for, this is Fashion Week and it’s what we’ve all been waiting for.

Take that, all you fashion fun-suckers who think that this week-long sartorial shindig (aka USC Fashion Week) is all fur coat and no knickers.  It takes serious dedication, a whole lot of hard-earned money, more organization than an institutionalized OCD patient and more patience than Gandhi himself.  We’ve got our knickers on for sure and they’re probably much more stylish than yours.  So, there.


Cori Hanky – Member, Fashion Board at USC