Style | Diary of a Somebody

Neil Barrett

It’s a long day’s journey into night for the fashion designer in Milan

Neil Barrett

January 15 2012
Neil Barrett

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Seven am, and I am up like a flash. My mind is racing – it’s the last day before the show. I am excitedly nervous. I know today will feel like cramming five months’ worth of work into 24 hours.

I spend the next hour writing frantic notes and reminders for the day ahead for me, my team and anything/anyone else I can think of. As always, I want the show to be perfect, and I don’t want to miss out any points or details.

Day planning finished, I pound the race to the office for 8.45. I have enough time for a quick coffee before I start going through all of yesterday’s work with my stylist. As I previously said, nothing can be left unturned or un-reviewed.

I am constantly checking my watch as I know the press conference with all the Italian newspapers is looming, and I would hate to be late. I give the papers a quick preview of what to expect from tomorrow’s fashion show. The reception is just the boost I need and hoped for.

After conversing for a good few hours, I make my way back to the showroom and design studio to see how the rest of the collection is coming along, as well as a having sneak peak at the venue for tomorrow from some photographs the production company has sent us. So far it looks great. The backdrop of chrome scaffolding looks incredible and ties in nicely with the space.

As a whole, the showspace is a futuristic industrial landscape with chrome and metal benches and a catwalk that’s wide enough to rival the Nile. The collection will create an incredible mise en scène once the show starts.

I’m still clock-watching and see that the day is racing past. I reassure myself that we are making good progress and hope we won’t be here too late tonight. After a very late lunch/early dinner snack of local produce from the deli such as parma ham and pepper-stuffed olives, I am the PR team’s for the next few hours. The seating plan looks great – lots of fantastic UK editors confirmed, such as Love magazine’s Katie Grand, Esquire and GQ Style.

Our UK PR team are also here to talk through all the last-minute plans such as the call time for tomorrow’s show. It’s always good for people to be at the venue at least three hours before, in case there are any dramas that need to be ironed out; fingers crossed this won’t be the case.

I leave them to talk through the final drafted press release. We’re printing it on clear laminate in black ink; having seen the mock-ups of the design earlier, I know that it will sit perfectly in the industrial urban showspace.

I spend the remainder of the day finalising looks, one after the other. Robbie and I are seeing how they move as the models walk the length of the studio. Last-minute adjustments are made, looks moved till later in the show and some moved to the beginning. It’s midnight and we are still hard at work.

I eventually leave the studio at 2am. It’s been a very long day, and I am thankful for the morning we have tomorrow to check that everything is perfect. Then it’s showtime!

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