Fashion show has always been considered the highest standard of all events held in SCIE. With the highest technical difficulty and the most complex organization. Famous for its innovative clothing designs, professional stage, and powerful technical support. Fashion show provides a perfect proving ground for students who are applying for clothing design. This event is also beneficial to the future actors and actresses of SCIE who are applying for film school.
SCIE FS 2022 “Lost Part” Courtesy of KNMB Studio (CM22’-23’) Sony ILCE-1
SCIE FS 2023 “Gold & Ecstasy + Deconstruction” Courtesy of KNMB Studio (CM22’-23’) Sony ILCE-1 + Hasselblad X2D100 C
Student designers would be required to complete their clothing designs, contact correct clothing providers, and find suitable models within just a few months. The entire process is extremely challenging yet interesting and rewarding.
SCIE’s Communication and Media Division (C&M) played the role of media coverage provider again for the third consecutive year. As the chair of this division, I would tell the story from the perspective of a photographer.
The theme chosen for this year’s fashion show is Chinoiserie, translatable to English as “Chinese style of French Aesthetics”. Originating from France in the 17th century, it can be considered as the European understanding of China. This concept includes architecture, clothing design, fashion, and household items et cetera. I favor this year’s theme to a very large extent as it fulfilled my dream of seeing Chinese elements on SCIE’s stage andit would also be very interesting to see how Chinese culture is interpreted by Europeans.
Preparation work starts from 15:30 in the afternoon. We would need to set up the cameras for video recording, coordinate our members to capture stills, and move the designated material required for set building used in the portrait shoot in the end. We would also need to resolve power supply issues for the video cameras.
After two espressos and a quick pep talk, we began our work for the evening. We gripped our cameras tightly as we went into the designated positions. For stills we allowed our members to position themselves wherever they wish. As time passed, the sky began to darken, the stage became brighter, we held our breaths and waited for the show to start.
As expected, the first show to be carried out was a group dance performed by Sparkling ECA. Complex lighting conditions and the fast-paced dancing is a challenge for both the camera and its operator. The students like Sparkling very much, they appear at nearly every major event, no matter to warm up the audience’s appetite or as the closing performance to put an end to the night, the students loved it.
After the dance quickly came the first group of models. As the music switched to the melodies composed by Picso and Winter the audience waited in silence for the miracle to appear. The first group of models are paramount to the entire show as it affects the tempo, the judgement of the judges and the taste of the audience.
We always consider portrait photography as the most challenging genre of photography. With studio photography, art and fashion photography being at the top of the pyramid. In contrast to studio photography where it is possible to check every frame and restart should there be a problem, shooting fashion on stage is more random and uncertain. It is impossible to know the behavioral patterns of each model well as a photographer. It is critical that we find a balance between the limited storage space and the camera’s high-speed bursts, capturing only what’s referred to as “The Money Shot”. Blindly triggering the shutter until the model leaves is a simple yet brutal way of solving the problem. However, in the field every megabyte of storage space is the price of gold by grams, and even if you do have infinite storage, how are you going to select the wheat from the chaff in post-production?
The mind-boggling color grading and post editing interface.
This design left me a very deep impression.
The models and their attire from the second group are etched into my memory. I am a big fan of the color combination of blue and yellow. It creates visual impact that is beyond comprehension. It is eye catching but not too vivid at the same time. Along with the dark green and bright red LED screen behind them, another set of near perfect complementary color is created. Giving me a smooth and relaxing feeling. The blue clothing has medium levels of reflection under the strong stage light. The rich color and texture are pitch perfect.
The Kodak Vision 3 motion picture film inspired me to color grade the stage photos with a slight hint of green in the shadows along with rich color, beautiful skin tones and the smooth transition between shadow and mid-tones without losing too much contrast. It is indeed identical to the photos shot on 135 films.
From the photos shown we can see that the color grading created has very good effect on the red channel of the photograph, I like this effect a lot.
In contrast to my outgoing and vivid color grade, my teammate Dylan chose a more mild and soft color scheme that goes well with his Nikon camera. I like his perception of color, it’s very refreshing to see and highly different from mine. On the right are Dylan’s photos and on the left are mine, arranged according to our positions relative to the stage.
It’s not hard to see that Dylan’s colors are less saturated with a more magenta and cold tone. He also sacrificed the details in highlights to adjust the overall contrast of the photograph. I admire his way of processing his photos.
The color green is also very beautiful on stage under the light. It brings the sense of elegancy and subtleness. Just like the color blue, it also displayed unusual texture and color.
The fan in our design is spectacular, we bought the largest foldable fan we can find and painted it red. The Chinese calligraphy on the fan is also handwritten.
This fan has a diameter of almost 1 meter, we had our model hold it behind her body, hiding it from the audience until walking in front of the judges. Upon reaching the end of the stage she opens the fan with a crisp clean move. The red color creates stunning contrast against the dark green dress we designed. The results should be fascinating.
We were inspired by the Cheongsam, otherwise known as Chinese Dress. We borrowed a few elements from the original design along with some understanding of our own. The lower body of the dress is inspired by the tail of the carp. The entire outfit suits our model extremely well, emphasizing the beautiful curvature and outline of the human body.
I also purchased the classic Kodak Gold 200 medium format film negative to assist Brian’s portrait photography which he insisted shooting with digital. I believe analogue is superior to digital in the preservation of an important moment.
Left: Hasselblad Digital X2D100C
Right: 6×6 Medium format film shot on Bronica SQA
This fashion show is a challenge for both the school and the students arranging it.
Never in history have SCIE held two fashion shows. Holding the fashion show at the end of the year means that student designers would only have less than two months to present their designs. The Fashion Show Committee also face immense pressure from the school, they have less time to contact stage contractors, arranging for media coverage and performing liaison between designers and organizers.
I enjoyed this fashion show very much. It’s like a dream come true for me as I have always wanted to see Chinese elements appearing on stage. I did not expect the theme itself to be related to Chinese traditions. For a person who is graduating in year 2024, it’s like fulfilling a wish that seemed rather impossible. I sincerely hope that SCIE’s fashion show become better year by year. It has been an unforgettable experience taking part in these events.
Come to think of it, this is my first time to lead Communication & Media Team for fashion show, but also my last fashion show. Looking back to the creation of KNMB Studio before C&M and now the members of our studio graduating, I feel rather melancholy… It’s strange how time flies when you are not looking…