Season after season, the buzz of fashion week takes over social media. The looks that come down the runway are the obsession of professional and recreational fashion lovers alike, whether they’re sitting front row at Milk Studios or sneakily streaming the shows at work. Almost as intoxicating as the drama of those final looks are the glimpses we get of what goes on backstage—and as we recently discovered firsthand, the behind-the-scenes action starts months in advance.
After years of sharing the coolest trends we spied at fashion week shows, we decided it was time to dip our toes in the world of runway. This year, we had our first-ever editor-curated fashion show, Who What Wear Runway, created with Secret Deodorant. And as each element of our live-streamed shoppable show fell into place, we checked in with the key figures who made it happen—our editor in chief, Kat Collings; our editorial director, Bobby Schuessler; and L.A.-based celebrity stylists Dani + Emma—to get the inside scoop on everything from the initial mood boards to those finishing touches.
Keep scrolling for a behind-the-scenes look at how stylists and editors work together to put on a runway show.
It all starts in the studio, where racks of clothing are pristinely grouped by trend and models are fitted into their looks. You hear the flash of the camera going off and the subtle music playing in the background, all while editors and stylists are hard at work figuring out exactly what they want to send down the runway. It was here that we talked to our insiders to find out how Who What Wear Runway came together.
When we asked Collings what some of the biggest considerations were in the show’s planning stages, she noted one especially important factor: flow. “For a fashion show, you have to consider the flow of the looks and what sort of story you’re telling as the show progresses,” she told us. “We also wanted to pick trends that’ll look great on our influencer models and that the attendees will immediately want to shop.”
Meanwhile, Schuessler drew parallels between their day-to-day editorial duties and their duties planning the show. “We approach every look we’re working on with the stylists with that same precision as we would a story—altering and refining each outfit to ensure we’re offering a Who What Wear–approved look that feels elevated, cool, and trend-forward, but still approachable,” he told us.
Our stylists, Dani and Emma, were responsible for styling each of the pieces on our models—in this case, the influencers we tapped to walk the show. So how did they translate the trends our editors picked into real-life looks? “[We took] inspiration from the runway shows that we’ve seen and brought that to life in a way that’s more accessible for everybody but feels very runway,” Emma tells us.
“Since there is a specific kind of girl, it was more about bringing trends together and blending them, so that it wasn’t just street style against utility,” Dani added. From layering sportier pieces with reconstructed cotton shirting to adding a bold punch of color to a look, Dani and Emma incorporated major trends into elevated looks we’ll be re-creating in our own wardrobes all year long.
Yes, these duties sound enviable and exciting (and they certainly can be), but Dani and Emma have a word of advice for those pursuing a career in their field: “Don’t be afraid of work, and don’t come in thinking that it’s all glamorous, especially when you’re starting out.” They also mentioned the importance of keeping cool under pressure, adding that they work better when they’re stressed out.
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When we asked what helped keep them on their toes throughout it all, they told us it was the sheer volume of the show. Who What Wear Runway featured a total of 30 looks, each of which featured multiple pieces. That’s a lot of samples to keep an eye on, especially when things are moving at such a fast pace. All in all, though, they tell us they feel great about the way it all turned out, from keeping garment fabrics flawless and stain-free to the actual flow of the show itself. That, married with the fabulous pieces they had to work with, is what real fashion dreams are made of.
What would you ask the stylists or our editors about the fashion show? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to watch the entire show here!