We hinted at the hours of drama and fuss surrounding a 15-minute fashion show, and in The Wall Street Journal today, a reporter dishes insider info from the Rosa Chá show (which we attended). From the size and color of the invitation envelopes, to the guest list and the wardrobe and makeup of the PR girls working the shows, no detail is overlooked. And here's why there's often so much chaos in the tents: "A lot of people turn down fashion show invitations," writes Ellen Byron for the Journal. "Only 50% of invitees typically accept, so for the Rosa Chá show [Alison Brod PR] mailed out 2,000 invitations, even though [the show] would have just 867 seats."
Of course, the seating arrangements are a headache unto themselves: "Editors from important publications are seated in the front two rows. Those from regional magazines and newspapers usually sit farther back. Buyers from the same retailer are positioned near each other but far from the competition. Care is taken not to give junior executives better seats than their bosses." The PR companies also send private cars for celebrities — knowing that if they do, the celeb has a higher chance of actually showing up. Alison Brod, of Alison Brod Public Relations, which handled the Rosa Chá show, admits that the shows "aren't hugely profitable," but raise the profile of the designer and the PR company. But if this whole thing seems like a lot of wasted time and effort, rest assured that some restraint was exercised:
The size and weight of the invitation required postage of 97 cents, but the $1 stamp had beige and maroon tones that clashed with the envelope. [Pam Morris, the 27-year-old account supervisor] thought three 41-cent stamps with brightly colored flowers would look better, but chose the $1 stamps because she couldn't justify the added cost.