Bandit Lights Pure Fashion at Olympia


Bandit Lites continued its successful run of work on leading fashion industry events, supplying the Pure fashion trade show at Olympia--the UK’s leading fashion industry exhibition--with lighting equipment for their main catwalk show.

This aspect of the show was designed and production managed by Derek Halliday with lighting designed by Mark Strange. Bandit’s Lester Cobrin has worked with this team before on many occasions.

The show ran four times a day throughout the three-day exhibition, staged in Olympia’s Grand Hall, showcasing the most creative and innovative designs from emerging and established fashion labels at the exhibition.

Strange has designed this show for the last six years, but each year the challenges are different as he explains. “It’s extremely fast moving," he says. "The models have to look good for both photographers-–with an even balance of consistent lighting levels along the catwalk--and for the live audience consisting of major buyers, trend setters and fashionistas."

He also had to contend with the near-daylight conditions of the Great Hall’s glass roof and the black voile draping of the entrance area. The monochrome effect of the black voile meant the lighting needed a particularly skilled approach so it looked lively and bright as opposed to flat and dull juxtaposed against the heavy black backgrounds.

The 19m long runway was this year in a traditional straight line format, so above this, Bandit’s crew installed an 80' long x 30' wide box truss, with a stretched casement ceiling to reduce the daylight glare. All the lighting fixtures were rigged off this box truss.

The shiny black catwalk was lit with 11 bars of 6-PARs and 14 single PARs. “Although not a large amount of fixtures, the trick was to ensure that each one worked hard and was meticulously well focussed,” says Strange.

At the blocked off entrance end of the runway were seven Pulsar Chroma battens rigged vertically to a scaffold, used for some jazzy effects, to add color and to draw attention to that area of the show. Because of the general high lighting levels, any effects had to be totally full-on.

Strange operated each 15-minute show using an Avolites Pearl 2000 console, and Bandit also supplied Avolites ART 2000 dimming.

“As always, Bandit’s attention to detail in prepping the gear was invaluable to ensuring the rig went in and up smoothly,” says Strange. “The equipment is always in tip-top condition. The cases were branded with the Pure logo and perfectly labelled up in a logical manner, so we easily found everything we needed on site in the right order. You also get a reader-friendly book of technical information documenting everything to do with the rig, including all the dimmer set ups and any other info you might need for the project.”

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