The runway lighting that powers the Fashion Institute of Design (FIDM) Debut each year boasts some impressive statistics … three multi-media runway shows over the course of two nights, 3,000 students from around the country brought in for each show, and a massive cast of models, dancers and talent, guided by fashion designer, and FIDM alum, Nick Verreos. The lighting it takes also boast impressive stats … 450 feet of truss, 230 conventional lights, 30 intelligent lights, 30 LEDS, 96 channels of changes. Add to this, a changeover on Saturday for a gala event that night … tables take the place of the theater seats and a seated dinner and yet another fashion show takes place.
For the five-day installation and set up, every March for the past 13 years, our lighting designer, Ray Thompson, and the team of Images by Lighting have taken up residence for the week of FIDM at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica to make this all happen.
On Monday, the truss is installed. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the lights are blocked and focused and there is a dry run of the show. Thursday is the dress rehearsal with the first show at 5:30. Friday night there are two shows and on Saturday, the sit-down gala event.
FIDM Debut is divided into segments each with its own graphic design look and lighting design. After an opening performance, the first fashion design section is called Chairing Styles, a creative collaboration between students in three FIDM majors — Textile Design, Fashion Design and Interior Design. Next, collections from graduating students from FIDM’s Theatre Costume Design Program debut against a backdrop of rock ‘n’ roll. The runway show ends with the collections of the top graduating students; a debut show of graduating students from FIDM’s Advanced Studio Fashion Design Program. From a line of children’s wear and resort and men’s wear, the lighting and graphics reflect each designer’s color palette, personality and inspiration.
We love doing this show as it’s always about more than runway lighting – the FIDM Debut sheds light on the energy, wonder and excitement of a creative profession and the future of the young attendees.