Monthly Archives: April 2012

Alternative Fashion Week – 2012

Last week was the Alternative Fashion Week (16th to 20th April) but the memories of the event are still vivid. It is a yearly event that show cases the work of new and upcoming fashion designers and over the course of the week one gets a chance to view a plethora of collections of all shapes, sizes and colours, from full length creations to bikinis. As last year’s AFW was cancelled, expectations were that much higher this year.

AFW is organised by Alternative Arts and it did a sterling job when it came to the daily catwalks. Although I had shot fashion shows before on “casual basis”, this time I decided to make a serious effort. I arrived early each morning to prepare for the show at 1:15pm. I was very fortunate to have met a fellow photographer, Rob Sheppard, a couple of weeks prior to the show and was glad to see him attend the AFW. Through him I met Simon Klyne and Simon Armstrong. These photographers are seasoned professionals and know all there’s to know about shooting catwalks. There was a great deal of camaraderie, even allowing others to squeeze into the precious inches of space that occasionally became available. Rob had brought with him yellow fluorescent duck tape that was used to mark our spaces (about two square foot per person).

Such is the prominence of AFW that there were photographers from Getty Images (one of the biggest picture agencies on the planet), some well known fashion bloggers and designers from abroad.

The day would begin with a casting for the models and then there would be long delay as they got ready and the designers fussed over their creations. The photographers would be in place by 12 o’clock for the 1:15pm start. The audience – visitors to Spitafields and office workers out on their lunch breaks – would gradually build up until there was standing room only. Right on time, Maggie Pinhorn (head of Alternative Arts) would appear on the catwalk to welcome everyone and to run down the list of designers displaying that day. A few moments later the first model would appear on the catwalk and from that moment on the camera shutters would start to fire, sounding like the whirr of insects.  Sixty minutes and a few thousand images later all would be over. The models would disappear into the marquee to change and the photographers would retire to the pub, ready for the next day.






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