2023 started with a bang for Another Avenue as we headed off to Abu Dhabi for the Junk Kouture World Final. This was a huge show with 54 participants from six regions competing for the coveted ‘Designer of the Year’ title. It was also a chance for us to spread our wings a bit on the production side as we had the run of the very impressive Etihad Stadium for 3 whole days (2 days pre-production, 1 day show).
As a self contained production company we usually do all of the ancillary work when it comes to the live shows (setting the cameras up, running miles of cable, testing screen feeds, troubleshooting etc.) but most of this was taken care of by the very capable and accommodating in-house crew at the stadium, alongside the guys from SNAP AV and BBE productions. This gave us more time to concentrate on the content that was to be shown throughout the event. Due to the various issues throughout the year with Covid and other things, all the content that was supplied was user generated, meaning that the videos that were made in support of the designs were created by the designers and their teams. As is always the way with these types of shows, we were still receiving footage and music changes up to the dress rehearsal! Our editing team did a fantastic job of creating dynamic and attractive packages that were played in on the night.
Before we knew it, dress rehearsal day was upon us. The designers and their teams were bussed in from nearby hotels with their amazing creations in tow. This was no mean feat in itself as we had designs made from banana trees, newspaper, trampolines, living pampas grass and many other materials. The energy was fantastic backstage as the designers got to know each other and traded fashion tips and tricks.
The other function of the day was judging which fell to the three industry experts Fabio Piras, Lise Pierron and Mehreen Baig. They spent the day assessing each of the designers individually backstage and then watching all the performances at the dress rehearsal. There was fierce debate and strong opinions as they made their shortlists and eventually came up with their winners.
Another integral aspect to a show of this complexity that is often overlooked is the backstage production. If the designers and models do not know when and where they are to be on stage, be ready for photography, be prepared for judging, be available for press or any of the many other activities that were going on then the show falls apart. The backstage production crew along with the Junk Kouture territory managers played a blinder in keeping everything on track and spirits high throughout the whole rehearsal and show.
As the audience arrived for the show, our team and the teams that were working to us were ready. All the months of prep, the meetings, the strategy, design, editing and all the rest led up to this moment. There were nerves and last minute costume fixes going on backstage as our hosts Sean and Maz took the stage to cheers and applause. The rest is history – a hugely successful show, full of colour, fun and energy. As a production company we were delighted by how smoothly the show went and just how well it looked.