fashion week

Milan Fashion Week: Backstage Diaries

Like a lavish meal, a fashion show takes hours of painstaking planning, preparation, work.. and in a few minutes it’s all over. Whilst guests are usually there to witness the main event, the work, emotions and excitement happening behind the scenes is not something that is obvious.

Malta’s fashion industry has come a long way in recent years, as can be seen by the ever improving calendar of events and the improvement in the overall quality of the material produced. Having said that, we need to acknowledge that we are still a long way from established countries, and we need to look and see what these larger players are doing to keep learning and improving.

This year Caroline and I travelled to Milan Fashion week where i focused on backstage and a bit of street-style. Here are some highlights from the trip with backstage from Blumarine, Francesca Liberatore, ANNAKIKI, Aigner and others.

Most were lit using a handheld YongNuo YN360 LED light, which makes it really easy to selectively light up the subject (a stop or two above ambient) and then darken the surroundings. Colour rendition is great and other than making you look a bit like a silly jedi :D there is very little wrong with the light. Having said that, the distinctive nature of the light makes for a conversation starter which can be very good backstage

Blumarine

Blumarine

Blumarine

Blumarine

Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

ANNAKIKI

ANNAKIKI

Aigner

Aigner

Blumarine

Blumarine

Blumarine

Blumarine

Aigner

Aigner

Francesca Liberatore

Francesca Liberatore

Aigner

Aigner

ANNAKIKI

ANNAKIKI

Shooting Portraits in Harsh lighting

One of the things we have an abundance of in Malta is bright bright sunlight. This post unfortunately does not apply to our harsh sun when it’s at it’s peak. This is because the overhead positioning and bright light will result in a white studio background with the added haze that will lose a lot of fine detail.

In these conditions, moving to the shade will produce much better results. However! if you are in harsh sunlight in the morning or afternoon hours before golden hour. Simply place the subject with their back to the sun and use them to shield your camera from the glare. This will produce a lovely blown out background and a golden halo for your subject. To achieve this make sure you expose for our subject’s face, otherwise the camera will try and average out the light in the scene and leave you with a dull background and dark underexposed face

This will not work well for all subjects but for kids, and young beautiful people this fits quite nicely.

Here are some example of this technique show during Milan Fashion Week

portrait-model-streetstyle-milan-fashion-week
In this photo of Birgit Kos, a bit of toning was applied to the highlights

In this photo of Birgit Kos, a bit of toning was applied to the highlights

Backstage over the years

Just a quick trip down memory lane: i present to you photos taken backstage at various fashion shows around the world by a photographer from Malta (who used to be fat) including Milan Fashion Week, London Fashion Week, Serbia Fashion Week and Malta Fashion Week

2015

Fashion Scout Backstage - London Fashion Week

Fashion Scout Backstage - London Fashion Week

Giles Deacon Backstage - London Fashion Week

Giles Deacon Backstage - London Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Caroline Hili Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Caroline Hili Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

2016

Moschino Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Moschino Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Etro Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Etro Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Stella Jean Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Stella Jean Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Wedding Bells Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Wedding Bells Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Gaetano Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Gaetano Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Parascandalo Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Parascandalo Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

2017

Annakiki Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Annakiki Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Parascandalo Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Parascandalo Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Eymeric Francois Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Eymeric Francois Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Stella Jean Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Stella Jean Backstage - Milan Fashion Week

Marija Sabic Backstage - Mad Mood Milan Fashion Week

Marija Sabic Backstage - Mad Mood Milan Fashion Week

Charles & Ron Backstage

Charles & Ron Backstage

Backstage Serbia Fashion Week

Backstage Serbia Fashion Week

Mirat Cyril Backstage - Serbia Fashion Week

Mirat Cyril Backstage - Serbia Fashion Week

Backstage Serbia Fashion Week

Backstage Serbia Fashion Week

2018

Eymeric Francois Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Eymeric Francois Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Jasongrech Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Jasongrech Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Ritienne Zammit Backstage - Malta Fashion Week

Malta Fashion Week - Rosemarie Abela Al-Magrib

Another in the series of fashion editorial photo-shoots done as part of Malta Fashion Week - Rosemarie Abela's Al Magrib collection. Valletta's older areas which are still a bit raw provided us with some great backdrops. The maltese limestone tends to really throw a yellow hue on the outfit, thanks to all the sunlight light that bounces off it and onto the clothes. So to add a bit of drama and also to bring out the lovely colours and texture in the clothes - you guessed it - one Bowens 500w strobe with a beauty dish. The main difference this time is that we kept it off angle to give some nice shadows on the models

MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)

The team behind the shoot:

  • Model: Venla from Models M and Francesca from Supernova Model Management
  • Makeup: Elaine Galea
  • Designer: Rosemarie Abela
  • Hair-styling: Flavia @ dcolorpallet
  • Photography: Kurt Paris

Malta Fashion Week - Marco Parascandalo

The third in the series of Malta fashion week editorial fashion shoots was the one we did with Parascandalo for their 2018 collection: Star.

In this shoot we decided to use an urban setting, specifically a car-park which had a monotonous, grungy look & feel (kudos to Marco for this great idea for a location). This almost boring setting is a mix of empty space and clutter, a place where there is actually a lot of stuff lying around but it's the kind of stuff that our sub conscious has gotten used to tuning out. In this setting the outfits felt at home, but their vibrant colours & designs shone brightly

Without further ado:

MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)

Photographer's Talk

Since we were in an urban setting, one of the ways to make the subject stand out (and bring out all the detail in the clothes & make-up) is to overpower the sun as we did in the shoot for Ritienne Zammit's _Atronymic collection. Only this time, since we had more depth behind the model, it allows us darken the whole scene and increase the lighting on the model. One 500w Bowens studio light provided the lighting for the scene, coupled with the Bowens beauty dish. As you might have noticed by now, this is really my favourite lighting setup since it provides a good mix of soft and hard light.

The team behind the shoot:

  • Model: Julia from Models M
  • Makeup: Jennifer Dimech
  • Designer & Stylist: Marco Parascandalo
  • Photography: Kurt Paris

 

Malta Fashion Week - Ritienne Zammit

The second in the series of post-show Malta fashion week shoots was the one we did with Ritienne Zammit. Ritienne is one of my favourite designers and every year I look forward to her new collections. The fact that she is also a fun, humble and generally awesome human being simply adds to the fun :)

This shoot caused a bit of a stir since we did it right in front of the new parliment building in Valletta. We set up, started shooting and promptly a crowd gathered behind us - and started shooting us, the models, Ritienne, everything. Fun times.

Without further ado:

MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)

I'm not a big fan of shooting under our scorching Maltese sun. In general the makeup is lost and the harsh shadows destroy or distort the lines of the clothes as well as their texture. Since the clothes are quite bright and distinctive, i wanted a simple plain background to let the outfit speak for itself. Thank you Mr Piano for the great outdoor studio you provided us :). The only caveat is the aforementioned sun... and this was fixed by overpowering the sun using a Bowens 500w strobe. If you've never used this technique before check out this really easy video from fstoppers.

The team behind the shoot:

  • Model: Beatrice from Models M and Francesca from Supernova Model Management
  • Makeup: Elaine Galea
  • Designer: Ritienne Zammit
  • Hair-styling: Chris Galea @ Michael & Guy
  • Photography: Kurt Paris

 

Malta Fashion Week - Yana's Jewellery

This year, to add to the events and general fashion-craziness happening during Malta Fashion Week, designers (with the help of photographers, models, make-up artists, hairstylists, model agencies, venues) got together to do shoots with the collections showcased during the week. 

Here is the shoot we did for Yana's Jewellery:

MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)
MFWA 2018 - Kurt Paris (https://www.kurtparis.com)

Since we were shooting in natural light heaven (under the arches in front of the National Library) we had super soft but directional light. By changing the direction the model was facing I could adjust the angle at which the light hit her face - from fully frontal in the first image, to slightly off centre in the later images. A Bowens 500W strobe was used for a bit of fill and to even things out. 

The team behind the shoot:

  • Model: Katrina from Models M
  • Makeup: Jennifer Dimech
  • Designer: Yana's Jewellery
  • Photography: Kurt Paris