Lexus Nashville Fashion Week - The Back of House Edition

I had big intentions of having my Lexus Nashville Fashion Week recap finished the week after Fashion Week, but between my never ending exhaustion and a flurry of after work activities, I just couldn't get it finished. Then, the next week went by and as I kept reading coverage from other blogs and news outlets, I decided I didn't want to give you another version of what you've already read and seen. (I'll save that for Tumblr and Pinterst.) So here's a glimpse at what Nashville Fashion Week was like for the few days I worked back of house, which is the technical term for, "you will not see one fashion show in its entirety." While all of you were figuring out what five fabulous outfits you were going to wear that week, I wore this stylish v-neck tee. Considering I can barely get myself dressed for work some mornings, I was secretly thankful for something 'official' to wear. And who am I kidding? I went to Catholic school for 12 years. This explains my penchant for plaid and a good uniform.

My NFW uniform

My accessories for the week came in the form of double stick tape, a lint roller, static guard and a clipboard.

My kit...before

My kit...after

By the end of the week, I had somehow acquired a giant shoehorn (the kind with teeth...does anyone know that song?) and a plethora of Ziploc bags.

In case you were wondering how all these looks made it down the runway, the short answer is about 12 hours of prep work. Call time...7 am. I did one 7am morning (Saturday) and it was pretty brutal after working at the Parthenon on Friday and then loading in at the Pinnacle until the clock struck 12:30am. And I had it easy. My Back of House teammates Samantha, Kristin & Priya worked these hours basically every day. Rock stars!

Fittings for each day's collections started at 8am. We'd take photos of the models in their looks and then later that afternoon we'd put the look boards together. Once the order of the looks was determined by the designer, we'd assign dressers to the models. Dressers physically dress the models which is especially important (and frantic) when the model has to change into her second or third look. It's these changes that make back of house so chaotic at times....mainly because there is always something wrong with the shoes!!

I was happy to work with Amanda Valentine who opened the first night at Marathon Music Works with her line Valentine Valentine. I think this was her best collection yet.

Look board for Valentine Valentine

 One word. Peplum. I'm in love with this look.

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com.

I'll share some of my other favorite Valentine Valentine looks on Tumblr later this week!

T. Rains rehearsal

Tuesday was the only night I found a minute to peak out from back of house to see how rehearsal was going. The look above turned into this later that evening...

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com.

I wasn't able to be back of house Wednesday or Thursday, so I arrived back for duty on Friday afternoon at the Parthenon. That night is still a blur. Such a beautiful venue, but definitely a challenge logistically. Unfortunately, I didn't snap any pics that night. We were just too busy. Literally there were bobby pins flying (did I mention that hair and makeup shared our back of house space with us?), garments being flung off models and people crawling through racks looking for shoes. It was crazy. I spent most of my evening on Katherine Kidd's gorgeous evening wear collection. The time went by so quickly that even though I handled nearly every piece of that collection, I didn't remember any of it when I looked at the photos. I remember some of the shoes being tough during changes and I remember this gorgeous dress...

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com.

The weird thing about being back of house is you spend all of your time getting your show organized, making sure your designer is comfortable with everything and helping dress in other collections. You're constantly in motion, but you never get a real sense of what the other collections look like or what is happening out front. I dressed two looks for Red Doll and what I remember most is that I couldn't get my model's skirt zipped for her second look and we were running out of time. She pretty much had to finish dressing herself as she tried not to fall up the stairs.

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com.

I'm going to blame sleep deprivation on the fact I could not figure out how to work this cart on Saturday morning. Stephanie of Nest Interiors, who has the fabulous denim jacket on in this pic, was Nashville Fashion Week's official Shipping Coordinator. I'm not sure what we would've done without her. She was amazingly organized.

Anyone know how to work this dolly?

I got to work with another one of my favorite local designers on Saturday, Jamie and the Jones. Rumor has it they're going on hiatus, but based on this collection, we are all hoping they won't be gone for long. What does a design duo do while waiting a few hours for their show?  Make jewelry for their collection, of course.

Jamie and the Jones making the jewelry for their runway looks on Saturday afternoon.

A few of the finished products...

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com

Now comes the part of Saturday where delirium has clearly set in. I mean, what is going on here? And why did Marcia trust me to hold Chico (who by the way did a smashing job on the runway during Sylvia Heisel)?

I am clearly crazed and Marcia is having second thoughts about me holding Chico.

Not long after that photo I did this...

Looks I dressed

I'm seriously wondering about my mental state at this point, but with everything moving in what seemed like hyper speed, I just couldn't access this info quickly enough if I had typed it on my phone or written it on a piece of paper. My arm seemed like the best option. Looking at it now, it still makes perfect sense. "Kal Reiman - Look 13 & 21 - Model Sarah; Sylvia Heisel - Look 1, 6, 14 & 21; Magid Bernard - Look 1, 18 & 24 - Model Kelsey Mass"

We were "all hands on deck" for the final show. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when we looked up during one of the earlier shows to see all the models dressed in their first Randi Rahm looks. Phew. That meant we only had to worry about dress changes. Other than me shoving a model's foot into a shoe and then not being able to buckle it, things went pretty smoothly for this show. Somehow I ended up dressing the model with the beautifully beaded wedding gown and train that was the final look. Simply stunning. I'm not sure photos give these dresses justice. They were just that beautiful.

Photo by Andy Evinger for nashvillefashionweek.com

After a long week, it was nice to relax and share some wine and a lot of laughs with the amazing women who were a huge part of Fashion Week. These ladies are pretty damn amazing.

From l to r: Samantha Oaks, Zarna Surti, Kristin Milner, Tabitha Tune, moi, Priya Mani, Heather Byrd, Marcia Masulla, McClaine Richardson. Not pictured: Cindy Wall (she gets the photo credit here) and Connie Richardson (who is either hiding in this pic or hadn't made it to Cha Chah yet)

Since I didn't get to see any of the shows from the front of the house, tell me who your favorites were!