6 Fashion Week Tips from an Upcoming Designer: Chalanse

Planning to showcase at your first fashion week? Chalanse recently showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week F/W22! Read on as Serena Kealy breaks down the steps to a successful runway, from carrying extra lint rollers to what to expect the day of.

photography by Anjali Kanda

1. How do you prepare your collection for Vancouver Fashion Week?

I booked VFW in November, and my show was in April – meaning I had just over 5 months to prepare my collection. I am really inspired by different textiles and fabrics, so I spent a long time in fabric stores and browsing online for colours and textures that spoke to me and fit well with my brand identity. So many hours of brainstorming and experimentation went into my collection! At the end of the day, it’s all about listening to my heart as a designer – staying true to my vision and presenting a collection that I felt proud of were the most important things to me along the way. Plus, I got to spend so many hours working on my passion – sewing and fashion design!

2. What can you expect the day of the show?

My show was at 5:45pm, the second show of the night on the last day, and I arrived around 10am that morning. I also was able to attend most of the other days of Vancouver Fashion Week as an audience member – which was amazing. Everyday at fashion week, I felt so inspired by the other designers presenting. I really value supporting other artists and the connections that are formed within creative communities. On the day of my show, every minute was busy – we started with model fittings, runway rehearsals, photoshoots, hair and makeup consultations, and interviews from the moment I arrived! Lots of teamwork goes into the final runway and it is so evident on the day of the show. It can be a little nerve-wracking backstage, but the event is very organized and professional. The most rewarding part of the day was walking out at the end of my show’s finale walk – it was incredible to see the full house audience witness my work!

photography by Chalanse

3. How do you stay calm and ready for the runway?

Organization is key! Before the day of my show, I had made sure to label, organize, and pack every element of my collection plus extras. Also, like I said, teamwork is integral. I got to work with other passionate members of Vancouver Fashion Week who assisted me backstage and were so helpful, as well as bringing my own friend/assistant to help keep me calm and collaborate on social media management! Just remembering throughout the whole day too that this is the moment I’ve worked for – I’m ready!

4. What are some things you wish you knew before attending Vancouver Fashion Week?

Living in the moment is so necessary. Throughout such a crazy day (even months of preparing for it), embrace the process of your own creativity. Everyone’s journey as designers and artists is different, so being really present in moments of success is magical.

photography by Chalanse

5. What are the essentials to bring to Vancouver Fashion Week?

Always pack extras – extra tights, hairspray, lint rollers, basically anything you can think of (it might come in handy)! I also found it useful to bring a print out of my collection line sheet to refer to during model fittings. Finally, I never leave my sewing kit behind!

6. Any additional tips or advice?

Maintaining a mindset of gratitude and positivity is so special when working in your craft, especially when collaborating with a team. Everyone surrounding you is there for the same reason that you are – because we are all passionate about what we do and want to produce a great show.

Check out the glamorous brand Chalanse at chalanse.com and on instagram @chalanseco. To learn more about the inspiration behind this brand and this season’s designs, check out our recently published backstage interview, “Meet the Designer: Chalanse”

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