Since I’ve been in Vietnam, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several large and small-scale fashion shows. Believe me, fashion shows here are vastly different from fashion shows in Milan, Paris, London and New York. I think few designers here understand that there are also fashion rules on fashion shows:
Rule no 1 – Short is better than long
Almost 90 percent of the shows I have been to are at least one hour long. It should not be more than 30 minutes max and leave the audience hungry for more. Most shows here are exciting and fresh for the first 15 minutes, but by the end of each show, all the outfits blur into one. A fashion show is supposed to showcase the designer’s best pieces (not all pieces) from the whole collection. A collection should be diverse but unified. Standout pieces should wow the press and leave a deep impression while commercial pieces should be left at the shop and not on the catwalk.
Rule no 2 – Be seen after and not prior
A few designers here like to socialise with VIP clients and press before the show and I can never understand why. You’d never see Karl Lagerfeld or Tom Ford before the show as they will be too busy putting the final touches on models. No matter how famous you are, most designers are keen to see clients and press after the show. I’ve heard of an after party but have you ever heard of a prior party?
Rule no 3 – Goodies are good
If designers are not going to have an after party, then they should prepare a goody bag. It does not have to be an expensive item but something relevant to the brand or the collection’s theme. Most will have a little press release so that friends of clients and press can know more about the brand and the collection. A little memento thanking guests for coming goes a long way and helps them remember your collection. Don’t forget, most editors go to many shows a season, not just one.
Rule no 4 – Dress respectably and fashionably
Guests here either wear the most casual or formal outfit, like a ball gown, which I think is hilarious. The proper attire should really be an outfit from the designer’s brand, if you have one. If you don’t, then at least dress in your favourite designer’s brand. In any case, it should be trendy and worn with attitude. Any kind of fashion show, no matter big or small, is an expensive event with a lot of thought and expenses that go into it. Respect the work of the designer and the occasion by dressing respectfully.
Christina Yu is the creative director and founder of Ipa-Nima, an award-winning accessories brand. Email your questions to Christina@ipa-nima.com or visit Ipa-nima.com.