by ALEXANDER GURMAN
Special to CTFashionMag.com
Miami Swim Week completed in July. Let me offer several points comparing the two major shows in Florida, Paraiso and Art Hearts Fashion.
Art Hearts had a glossy runway floor versus Paraiso having a carpet.
For the comfort and safety of models, I preferred Paraiso .
Both Paraiso and Art Hearts had 18 foot wide runways, which was way better than other shows I have seen; these were great for clean pictures.
Art Hearts’ runway was about 45 feet; Paraiso was 60 feet. I wish they would find longer runways, maybe 90 feet or more. That way models can offer a variety of walks and poses; and garments can be better presented. Additionally, there could be more audience members seated along the first row. A longer runway also would mean light engineers can change light temperature at different distances so subjects can be photographed in a variety of light options. Some clothes look better in bright light and some in dark colors.
Paraiso was very selective on who they let in as photographers; Art Hearts was more inclusive. I went to Paraiso as a courtesy invitation from Dwain Productions. Art Hearts approved me with an assistant.
That is why you have pictures and videos from Art Hearts from me of the same show; at Paraiso I had to do either pictures or videos for each show. Hopefully, next year I can also do the Forever 21 show and fashion TV shows as well.
I think press accreditation has to be outsourced to an outside nonprofit organization rather than at the discretion of the show itself; that way a true free press can come in and criticize or praise the show. If someone offers any type of substantial criticism, they would not be invited next time.
Freedom of press has to be respected; otherwise the whole system will be devalued, it should have more of public interest, not only a commercial aspect.
The backdrop screens of both showcase was phenomenal, but I personally do not like those large screens. I think that take away from the images. Also, from a photographic point of view, the screens change the color temperatures constantly unless someone has professional camera like I own and can shoot manually. Otherwise, the images and videos may not come out as great.
I understand that for marketing purposes it is great to include promotional videos in the presentation, but I would rather project pictures on the walks and at the ceiling to create an all-around experience similar to the Van Gogh experience exhibitions now on exhibition in New York City.
I would prefer a cleaner look for the models. It also would show more respect to the designer. If the background is totally white, those images can go on online shopping platforms right away. That, in turn, would save designers money on the look book and additional shoots. Two for the price of one, with top models. That makes sense, no?
Lighting was really good at both shows, but I would prefer to have more variety of light, different textures of garments show better under different light. I would want to see some cold colors and warm colors and hard projector light and soft light at the different parts of the runway that way we get to see more movement.
Money play a significant role in both shows. I think Paraiso had a bit more eyeballs on them. What hurt the Art Hearts production was that they restricted the access to backstage to photographers. Only house photographers had all access to that backstage and that reduced the authentic feel of the show.
I understand the need for safety measurements, I understand the need to secure models and teenage models’ privacy when they change. But I think there could be a better way to satisfy both safety concerns and emotional content that can come out from the back stage.
Back to the money, I think there was more cash invested in the Paraiso production; perhaps the landscape of production companies may significantly change for the next year. New forces are watching and joining the quest.