Nikolai Zatylkin, runway producer of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, on how to make a quality fashion show

Nikolai Zatylkin, runway producer of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, knows everything about fashion events organizing and is ready to share his experience with those who are making their first steps to the fashion industry.

What a new designer should start with if we are talking about planning of his or her first catwalk show?

First of all the goal of a designer is to do well his part of the job – create a quality collection, build the right concept, bring together its elements accordingly to the cut and color palette, choose the footwear and accessories. Only after having this done it should be planned how to present the collection to the public in the best possible way. To do this, first of all, one has to find a team of professionals that will be able to fulfill the ideas planned and to choose a place for the event, in case it will be an individual show. The place sets the tone and technical options for the event. However, if it is a fashion week, it is a must to think through how to stand out from the other designers but nevertheless be in line with the week's format.

How can a designer catch the attention of the fashion press?

First of all by making the right announcement via a press release or by means of a creative invitation. Celebrity and famous people participating in the event is another thing that will draw the media attention. 

Is it true that a quality fashion show requires considerable investment? 

Yes, beyond any doubt. Good lighting, quality sound and materials used in the decorations always create the necessary impression. And, it goes without saying that the models, stylists and the director's team have to meet all the requirements.

Are there any special hints on working with the photographers? 

One has to understand that for the photographers to make nice shoots during the show the lighting has to be right and, first of all the front light and fill light. Some designers use spot lights and other effects during their shows, which lead to darker photos. If the creator of a collection makes such a decision consciously and first of all wants to impress the visitors of the catwalk show – that would be the designer's choice of priorities. However, for the majority of designers, especially for the newcomers, runway photos are crucial, as they are used not only for the media coverage but also to create lookbooks. This is why, despite the fact that modern technologies are evolving fast and photographers buy more and more powerful lens allowing to shoot in different conditions, one should not disregard the correctly set lighting.

What should be the effective timing of the event?

The show shouldn't last for more than 15 minutes. This is the optimal time during which one can show everything he or she wants without making the visitors tired and grasping their complete attention.

Are there any trends in organizing and staging of the shows?

Today special attention is put on the atmosphere and setting of the show. Creative decorations and stage props are trendy. Designers and fashion houses like to run their shows in unusual places with unusual trajectories of catwalks, use various special effects and recreate scenes from real life.

How a designer should built the relationship with the team, partners and the organizers of the show? 

If a designer has little experience in organizing such events he or she should trust the professionals. Surely, designers need to voice their concerns and their vision of the show, but there has to be no suppression of partners, organizers and the director. Everybody has to do their job.