[A]n awe-inspiring fashion show is akin to being in love; momentum builds fast and for a moment in time you exist in a fantastical bubble. But while a 10-minute runway appears seamless – excluding the odd model slip up stomping in shoes two sizes too big – easy to produce it is not. It takes months of meticulously planning and a lot of meetings six months before you even see the collection on the catwalk. That’s where super style scenographer Alexandre de Betak comes in.
A new book Betak: Fashion Show Revolution offers a rare BTS glimpse into the world of fashion’s go-to producer, who has created set designs and show concepts for the likes of Christian Dior and Rodarte to Hussein Chalayan. A magical secret garden? A suspended electric sun? The French visionary knows how to put on a spectacle for the Insta-crowd, that’s for sure.
“To express a vision, sometimes building a set from scratch, from the ground up, is the best idea,” Betak says. “A set can be anything from the geometric and architectural ones we did for Hussein Chalayan to the more organic ones we made for John Galliano. While I love all periods and decades in art and architecture, for myself and the team, the goal when we build a set is always to create something new.” Performance is also key. “It’s movement and human life,” he stresses. “It’s the dynamic narrative that makes the collection memorable and also media friendly for photography, video, and whatever is the latest big thing in social media. It’s the lighting, the venue, and sound. It’s the casting. And it is the ultimate finesse of the cuing, the synchronizing of timing, the lights, the models, the performers, the music, andthe special effects. It is where perfection truly matters.”
See a selection of photographs taken from Betak: Fashion Show Revolution below and you can buy the book, published by Phaidon here.