What Does a Fashion Sceneographer Do?

Hint: it's really freaking cool.

At the end of every fashion week, we always spend time dissecting everything from the new up-and-coming designers to watch, to the best front row outfits, to which models closed what shows. In recent years, we've also started to hear more and more buzz about the mise-en-scène of the top shows. When preparing to debut their collections, designers put a lot of thought into the architecture of the runway and seating area, curating an environment that further engages audiences in the theme of their collection. "I always feel that a fashion show should be some sort of theatrical experience," said Marc Jacobs before his most recent runway show this February, presented in an dramatic, open-concept space. Meanwhile, Rodarte sent models down a metallic runway littered with clusters of neon lights, gravel, and flowers. And who can forget Chanel - they’ve converted their runway spaces into grocery stores, airport terminals, and carousels.

To create this runway magic, designers work closely with fashion sceneographers. Sceneography has its roots in theater and pertains to everything that involves a set. From the color and material of the floor and what type of chairs the audience will sit on, to the shape and dimensions of a runway, or even props, sceneographers have a lot to work on, in order to satisfy their designer clients. But the best sceneographers don’t just complete the designer’s vision, they add an additional visual experience to a collection. Sceneographers thus often seek their own inspiration in art, literature, history, and cinema.

The landscape of sceneography is ever-changing, thanks to 21st-century technological advancements. First, new technology has allowed for more digitally advanced runway productions - more and more, we see designers involving moving image into their presentations, including short films and projection art, for example. Technology has also affected the work of sceneographers by broadcasting their sets to global audiences on social media and the Internet. Live-streams and front row Snapchat stories allow fashion shows to reach a wider audience today than ever before; thus the more theatrical a show is, the greater the audience and potential client base. As digital technology continues to grow, sceneography in fashion will be even more in-demand, breathing new life into this age-old craft.

Main Image c/o Marc Jacobs, Fall 2016

If you liked this, you might also be interested in the role of an art director.  When you're done reading that, click here to join our discussion about the evolution of fashion journalism with Glamour Magazine's Lauren Chan.

WHO: Sharan, Jr. Fashion Market Contributor at Couturesque magazine
  WHERE: Boston, U.S.  
LISTENING TO: Heaven Sent - Zacari (feat. J-Louis)
CAN BE FOUND AT: @_sharangill

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