© 2019 Pamboukian lightdesign

SA Fashion Week

Location

Johannesburg

Client

Runway Productions

Completed

Ongoing - twice yearly

For each season, SA Fashion Week provides designers with a different backdrop with its own atmosphere. It is brought to life through light. The ideal space for viewing fashion is a black box, like a photographer’s studio, which permits the full control of applied light to achieve the ‘perfect image’. A task in its own. Lighting fashion on a ramp is a story of constraints – three factors are considered. First, the ramp must be lit camera-friendly – photographic or video images need to be of exceptional quality. Secondly, the show must be an optimal vehicle for the live viewing of a collection. Thirdly, production and operation of the lighting should be well rehearsed and seamless in execution - the ‘star’ of any show is the garment.

For this unique type of theatre, mood and effect is achieved via lighting ‘dissolves’, theatrical gauze backdrops, silhouettes on backing cyclormas, washes of colour and intense backlighting techniques. The ramp on the other hand must be framed accurately through the cut-off of light for diminishing shadow and adding brilliance to face and dress. White light and shades of white are the palette for the ‘right light’, these lights are minimally colour corrected with filters to achieve ‘daylight.’ The ramp as the major element of the composition is purposely covered in a light absorbing, deliberately reflective or coloured material. It contrasts, highlights or softens the model to create illusion, sparkle or a graphic statement. Light picks out the message. Critical to the ‘look’ is the control of shadow – shadow must be avoided under the nose and chin of the model, determined by the position and angle of the spotlights above. Individual designer ranges may also require the application of colour, projection, gobo effect, and differing lighting angles to emphasise the unique drama of the Collection.