Careers in Fashion Choreography

Fashion choreographers work behind the scenes at fashion events.
i Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

Fashion choreographers are some of the real artists behind the glitz and glamor of the fashion industry. Fashion shows are able to run smoothly and effortlessly all thanks to their behind-the-scenes work. If you choose to become a fashion choreographer, you’ll work with designers, models, makeup artists and other technicians, and you, too, will organize and coordinate shows to perfection.

Gaining Qualifications

    Fashion choreography falls under the broad category of fashion merchandising. To become a fashion choreographer, you'll need a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in fashion design and merchandising or the equivalent. You’ll take courses that train you in the basics of fashion and technology. While theoretical knowledge is important, it's experience that is the essential qualification. Participate in every runway event you can, whether it's organized by your fashion school or by a local department store. You'll get a chance to show off your talent, and listing these events on your resume looks impressive.

Working with Models

    Models showcase the designers’ creations to the audience; as a fashion choreographer, you'll assign models the costumes that suit their skin tone and body structure. You’ll need to choose the right cosmetics for them because the makeup they wear must complement their costume, but not overshadow it. You’ll work with the models’ posture, their hand placements, their facial expressions and even show them how to walk to add the "wow factor" to the creation. Models often wear add-ons with their costumes, including elaborate wigs, wings or other appendages. You’ll need to work out sequences that give them time to prepare between appearances. You also need to make sure they can perform confidently and comfortably.

Coordinating Runway Shows

    As a fashion choreographer, you must study each designer's line and target the designer's audience so that you can create the perfect atmosphere for a successful fashion show. As you make seating arrangements, you’ll make sure that customers and clients are close to the runway. This gives them a clearer view of the designs presented. Selecting the right music and making sure the selections coordinate with the costumes and the models’ entries and exits is critical for pulling off a flawless event. To realize the designer’s vision, you might need to choreograph a theme for the entire show.

Using Other Skills

    Your knowledge of fabrics and garment tailoring is priceless as a fashion choreographer; how the fabric looks under lighting arrangements and how it drapes on a model when she sashays down the ramp determines if your event is successful or a total flop. Sometimes, to achieve just the right look, you might have your assistants place lights in specific locations to illuminate a particular facet of a creation. Also, you want people talking about your event long after it’s over, so you’ll organize the appropriate media coverage for maximum exposure. Your job as a fashion choreographer is all about making your events look effortless, so you’ll need to think on your feet, handling glitches and managing the fast-paced activities quickly and efficiently.

Considering Other Factors

    As a fashion choreographer, the fashion school you attend, the internships in which you participate and the experiences you gain will all offer you an edge over your competitors. However, at the start of your career, you’ll still begin somewhere near the bottom of the fashion ladder. Jobs at your local department store, fashion houses and couture boutiques are helpful and useful beginning experiences. As you gain expertise and polish your skills by working with known designers and industry connoisseurs, you can move to higher positions and work with noteworthy fashion icons.

the nest