REVEALING WHAT HAPPENS BACKSTAGE | Forward Mag | News | Tony Ward Couture

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Landed in Paris

Yet another beautiful chaos, another adrenaline rush, a whole other chapter.
The team rushing straight from the airport to Tony Ward showroom at the Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
The new dresses are filling the space, while the tailors are busy setting up their scissors and needles with no break in between.

The marketing team are finalizing the send outs; and it’s not only about the invitation cards to be dispatched but also the celebrities’ gowns to be worn while they attend the Tony Ward Fashion Show.  Some back and forth with the stylists, some phone calls for the fittings; the front row has to be filled with beautiful faces wearing the Tony Ward dresses.

Then comes one of the most challenging part: The seating plan. Should we place this media person next to him or her? These two stylists don’t speak to each other, what about this celebrity? Will these clients get along? Scratching on the venue’s plans, moving seats around, the space is over-booked but the seats are set: front row, second row, standing…


We are still on day 1  

Tony is there. For him it’s the most crucial time: The casting and fitting time. The models were coming in from different agencies for the first day of audition and line up to "walk the walk”. It took 3 full days to do the casting and choose the right models for the show; Tony was aiming for more diversity for this time between Asians, colored models, blonds, brunettes… It has always been about inclusion for the fashion house. 

After choosing who wears what, it is time for the tailors to fit the gowns properly on the girls in order for the piece to walk flawlessly on the runway. The opening look was chosen while creating the piece but it was challenging to assign the person to it. She has to be firm, edgy and flattering in her walk. One task down, another pops up! After approval of the hair and make moodboard to complement the looks, it is time for a proper hair & make up test on one of the faces the day before the show. Tony wants the hair to be sleek yet with subtle natural wave and the eyes to be smokey yet not too dark, with a slight shimmer of silver to brighten it up. 

In between those castings, DM Media, the appointed Paris press office’s team comes in for the concrete meetings and to set the final points on the seating plan, guest arrivals, press coverages… and anything that is related to spreading out the show. Not to mention, few exclusive press coming in and out for a preview of the gowns and the close ups of the intricate detailing before they hit the runway. 

While all of the above actions were taking place in the showroom, other team members, along with the production team were on set at Palais de Tokyo for three full days for the final touch ups. Zoya Ward, the creative director, did a full overnight along with her team the day before the show in order to install the lighting and to fix the art installation, made fully of white delicate pleats ruffles, hanging freely from the ceiling.

It’s D-day: An early rise for the whole team

The truck carrying the dresses leaves the showroom and heads towards Palais de Tokyo. A fun music is up to enlighten the mood while everyone is setting their own space in the backstage: The hairdresser Beppe D’Elia and the make-up artist Marcello arrive with their team, batches of models coming in, the tailors and designers setting up and guiding the dressers, the tasks are clearly divided between the team members, photographers snapping behind the scenes shots … 

The clock is ticking and the backstage is a show by itself.  Tony is there. Calm and in a good mood. Cheering everyone up, smiling while firmly making sure everything is going with the flow. But it’s not all smooth, few bumpy rides are bound to happen. For this show in specific a model decides not to show up and this means reshuffling the order, reshuffling the dresses and thus reshuffling the rhythm. But it was solved with a solid team work. 

Tony is out from the backstage and into the runway, just in time for the final round of runway fitting where the models step out in their silver Tony Ward silk robes for the trial on the beat of the show’s music, while the runway photographer does the lighting test, to make sure he is well positioned on the right angle.



We are few minutes away from the show

More exclusive press with their backstage pass come in for an interview with Tony, models lined up with their respective dresses; But on the other side, it’s getting crowded by the second with people rushing in during their first Couture day to make it on time. The team are there to greet them and seat them. 

It’s 5.30pm Paris time. The show is about to start. Models rolling one after the other… Tony holds his breaths… until the last second… 

The show is over

Another one is yet to begin. From Paris… to the world, the Tony Ward team is ready to spread out in all four corners of the world to showcase the collection: let the red carpet, trunk shows, press days, showroom visits begin!


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