Besides design and arhcitecture, I'm passionated about fashion too and try to keep up with the dynamic world of designers, photographers and models.. It's not hard, in the era where fashion bloggers are almost ruling this world- the information is spreading faster than light. The most exiting part (for me) is the part where the clothes are being showed off - the FASHION SHOWS, the way the runaway's been designed and themed. And here I get to the point of the story...
.. So.. Fashion Weeks and Fashion Shows.. so exiting events, who doesn't love them?! If once the Opera was the elité place for a show-off, now we are living in an era where the Fashion Show is The Place To Go, To Be and To Be Seened At. The models, the photographers, the afterparties, the vi-ai-piis, the FASHION!! But we all know it's not exclusively about the clothes anymore.. 'cause it's also about the show. The Show. The bigger the show is the more it'll be talked about. So IF you're a fashion designer and IF you want a show everybody's going to talk about (AND YOU DO), at least until the next two weeks, you are gonna need this man's help. I'm talking about Alexndre de Betak, they call him the Fellini of fashion industry (no wonder).
He's the man behind the scenographies for the "most exclusive lingerie event" that e v e r y-body's crazy about: Victoria's Secret's Fashion Shows. And not only: Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Viktor and Rolf, Rodarte and Michael Kors are just few designers from his clientlist.
But he's a man of many talents. And as a founder of the Bureau Betak company, he's got a job that allows him to assume many guises, besides producing fashion shows: creative director, location scout, sound stylist, lighting designer.
Plus he has designed one of the most exclusive restaurant/lounge you may find in Paris: The Black Calvados, I'll definitely post about it in the future. This man's job is the perfect union of projecting design and fashion, a dream job.
Q: What’s the hardest thing about designing fashion shows?
Alexandre: You need make the show memorable, but you can’t take away from the clothes. And you want to do something different and newsworthy, but you’ve got to stay within the image of the designer so people know where they are. I’m here to enhance the identity of a designer.
Oscar De La Renta
Q:What’s the biggest technical nightmare of your career?
Alexandre: I did a show for Victoria’s Secret in 2002, and some PETA protesters jumped on the runway to protest Gisele. There was no fur in this show at all, so go figure. Gisele was amazing and continued walking as if nothing happened, but a moment after that there was this big flying fluorescent angels number. The models were meant to fly around really fast, and it was dangerous, so we had it all synched with a computer. But because of the protesters interrupting the show, we had to reboot the sequence and the whole thing got stuck. We had a flamenco guitarist waiting to descend from the roof of the Armory, and he had to wait up there in the hot roof, too. I don’t know how no one got seriously injured. It only took 30 seconds to fix, but it was the longest 30 seconds of my life.
On Michael Kors: “I’ve been working with Michael for 15 years now, since January of 1995. For his shows, the production is not necessarily in terms of set design. It’s more about precision and the right timing, music, and mood. We focus on casting, energy, and sexiness rather than a huge production. And it all goes very fast — we do 63 looks in ten minutes!”
On Rodarte: “The Rodarte girls have a very specific world, so for them the show is about re-creating these personalelements. The girls talk a lot and express a lot; they are lovely and incredibly trusting. We work on the collections in tandem as much as eight months ahead of time. While they’re designing the clothes, I’m developing the show. This season they sent me pictures of condors and vultures, and the challenge was using elements not typically perceived as beautiful. We used smoke machines and acid-green light, scattered the ground in black silica, and scented the room with a wood-burning fragrance — objectively nasty elements that became beautiful together.”
Just watch this clip and you'll understand what I'm talking about.