London based creative lighting design consultancy Renegade designed lighting for the main British Fashion Council (BFC) Tent and peripheral areas in and around Somerset House for the recent London Fashion Week event, together with 4 major innovative off site shows for the Matthew Williamson, Temperley, Julien Macdonald and Hardy Amies collections.
Renegade's Nick Gray once again created a collection of refreshing, inventive and different lighting designs - as is his style - to compliment and emphasise the individuality of each show, also ensuring that the all important media had perfectly colour balanced environments to capture those beautiful and exquisite shots that characterise the event.
It was the fourth consecutive season for Gray lighting this important LFW location, constructed in the grounds of Somerset House, one of London's most historically significant landmarks. The design was based on a single central truss, flanked by two off centre trusses and a flown, raked front-of-house grid.
For strong cross lighting onto the back wall/entrance, and for producing dramatic silhouette effects he positioned 12 x Svobodas - to deliver a very bright quasi-parallel light beam/curtain effect at the top of the runway.
The overhead lighting consisted of 140 ETC Source Four profiles with a variety of different lenses, and the seats were lit with Bambino fresnels. The whole lighting aesthetic and raison d'être was to depart from a purely tungsten "classic" rig and match the more natural and organic look of the tent this year which featured a wooden floor.
Gray also specified some 10K projectors for producing 'specials' on a cyc for selected shows, and all lighting was run from a grandMA console, operated by Paulus van Heijkant. The lighting crew chief was Ben Howells and the equipment for the tent was supplied by award winning London based rental company, Neg Earth.
Gray's brief also included the lighting of several other LFW areas within the BFC Tent and Somerset House, including the Reception. Here he chose 8 of the brand new Moll Richardson silver 5K Sky Pans, utilised to create a general wash as well as to look cool and interesting in their own right with their massive, intriguing 'dish' appearance. They were accompanied by 30 chrome PAR lights, all hung on 2 trusses installed in the roof.
In the BFC Lounge area, Gray went for a synergous but different look, sourcing a quantity of orange 50cm Tom Dixon fluorescent globes and 8 classic MacLamp angle poise lamps (designed by interior style guru Terrance Conran in the 1960s) in gold, red and yellow. The idea was to produce a clean, clear timelessly stylish environment with the lighting fixtures forming the scenery as much as they were used as practical lightsources. All these bespoke fixtures were supplied by Shok London.
The back-of-house and hair-and-makeup areas were lit with truss mounted Codas and PAR cans, and in the Canon Centre, several bars of Source Four PARs provided working light for the press and media.
In the Portico Rooms, the main Somerset House presentation space, Gray had Shok London supply a bespoke powder-coated white scaffolding system, complete with a set of silver studio PAR cans and barn doors, plus a Hog iPC laptop for control.
For the Registration Area in the Siemens Hall he specified another white scaff system from Shok London, complete with chrome PARs and chrome Deco PARs - which formed an architecturally stunning rig to highlight the fabulous internal features and create a light, airy and pleasant space.
Matthew Williamson at the Phillips De Pury Gallery, Victoria
This was a fantastic space but a real challenge for rigging, with angled gallery walls, arched ceilings and no obvious hanging points. There was also no catwalk as such, the models instead used a U-shaped path on the floor.
Gray lit this with 26 x 4x4 Kino Flo units and installed 3 front lighting positions, the first was a goal-post supported grid behind the camera platforms and the others were flown from sections of truss positioned at the first turn of the catwalk and behind the second bank of seating, all populated with Source Four profile lights.
He wanted to create a sense of clarity, cleanness and a smooth and even coverage of light, and as there was insufficient power for a full Source Four rig, he had to think laterally and the Kino Flos were the perfect solution. They also look really good when rigged appropriately in a gallery space.
General room lighting was created using 44 SHOK London wireless LED uplighters, programmed for pre & post show effects.
Lighting control was via a Hog3 console operated by Trent O'Connor, and the kit was again supplied by Neg Earth.
Julien Macdonald, One Mayfair
The former St Mark's Church completed in 1828 is a fine example of Greek revival style architecture. It immediately lent itself to a moody and atmospheric lighting vibe that was also ideal for the Macdonald show, offering Gray the opportunity to use plenty of more unorthodox fashion show lighting techniques including light and dark spots and shadow play.
Also due to space and rigging restrictions, he reduced the 'front lighting' array to a single location right at the end of the zig zag route runway so the photographers could get their shots from there.
Before this point, the models emerged from behind the altar in darkness, were partially lit and highlighted with shadow details as they traversed the catwalk. After they reached the back of the seating, they walked down the centre of the church, turned left then up and across the back of the space, creating even more challenges for lighting and where to position kit.
Drama and edginess dominated the visual ambience. The show was accompanied by an uncompromising, hard driving heavy rock soundtrack, and Gray produced high impact effects like big strobing moments on the back wall before the models stepped on to the runway, which went down a storm in the media!
Using the lack of flying facilities for any side or overhead lighting to his atmospheric advantage, Gray had lights rigged along the under-balcony areas to the left and right which partly illuminated the side catwalk runs and further enhanced the drama of the piece.
For the middle part of the run the light levels increased as he had the space to place overhead lighting, and then the models then finished up in front of the FOH lighting gantry for the photos.
To further enhance the architecture, the venue's pillars and arch details were skimmed with light, and the stained glass window behind the altar was illuminated to create a striking ecclesiastical backdrop.
Lighting fixtures used for this show were Source Fours and Source Four PARs supplied by White Light and Martin Professional MAC 101 LED washes for the glass backdrop from Shok London, together with 40 GDS wireless LED uplighters. This was operated by Adam Baker using a grandMA console.
Says Gray, "The diversity of the shows this season was really creatively inspiring and so I was able to come up with a stream of more unusual solutions, all demanding and each with their own challenges. It was hard work for everyone, and saw some great teamwork between all the technicians and crew involved".
Alice Temperley at the British Museum (Main Hall)
Alice Temperley presented her 10th anniversary collection at the British Museum - also the first time a fashion show has ever been staged in there - making it a super high profile event.
Nick Gray and his crew's main challenge was the get in and preparation time which was very restricted due to the Museum being open to the public throughout the day. They had 2 hours to start and build the trusses between 7 and 9 a.m., and then another 2 hours between 6 and 8 p.m. - to finish off, focus and programme. The show started promptly at 8.
Utilising a minimal approach and just 32 Source Four profiles with different angled lenses, Gray enhanced the architecture and lit the large curved wall and sweeping stone staircases which define the space. It was elegant, contrasty lighting to compliment the environment and the considerable style and flair of the collection.
Lights were located in 6 key positions and wireless DMX was utilised to maximise all possible time saving opportunities during the get in.
The kit was supplied by White Light, with Chris Fyfe operating using a grandMA ultra light console.
Hardy Amies, 14 Saville Row.
This show took place in the showroom of the classic British men's tailor and dressmakers at 14 Saville Row.
Gray's design used 12 Chrome Source Four profiles and a white trussing system - supplied by White Light. Adam Baker was the Crew chief and the operator was again Chris Fyfe.
The post show video for this was one of Gray's favourites from the event, adding a quintessential sense of British style and panache to the venue, the collection & the models, which was quite rare this season.
For more press information on Renegade, please call Louise Stickland on +44 7831 329888 or +44 1865 202679 or EMail : [email protected] To contact Renegade direct, please call Nick Gray on +44 7795 095427 or check www.renegadedesign.co.uk.