Long before the spotlights; long before the fancy gowns fall over the heads of models and long before the oohs and ahhs of the audience comes the writing of the fashion show script. This script pulls everything together to help the show go off without a hitch. As the organizing document, it tells when each model must step onto the catwalk and provides the content the emcee uses to describe each creation. Writing a fashion show script requires research, vivid writing, organization and good storytelling.
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Analyzing the Garments
Fashion show script writing begins with solid research and careful thought. Spend time with each of the garments to find out what makes them special. Investigate what they are made of, what is fashionable about the cut, what its function is and how it is meant to be worn. Learn whether it belongs to a particular genre and what is new and different about it. Identify the designer for each garment and dig up the story behind the inspiration for it.
Developing a Vocabulary
If you don't already have a large and sparkling fashion vocabulary, start reading fashion magazines. Pay particular attention to how outfits are described and the storytelling methods used to sell an outfit. Read clothing catalogs and outfit descriptions. Make notes about compelling and inspiring language. Peruse fashion sites that provide lists of words to use for clothing.
Writing the Descriptions
Don't approach the writing as an elementary school descriptive writing exercise. Tell stories to make your writing shine. The National Opinion writer Julia Robson writes, "Although the writing at its best might look simple, it isn't. A combination of speaking from the heart and punchy, one-liners can take hours, days even, to get right." Start with the obvious when describing the garment and then include important details about what makes it special -- what its story is. Introduce the designer and the model. Devote time to editing and polishing it. Read it aloud. Read it to a friend. Take out anything that is repetitious or is too hard to say. Pare it down to the bare necessities, while still making the text sparkle. Write to any word counts or time limits that you have for the fashion show.
Putting It All Together
Start the script with an introduction that talks about the show's purpose -- whether it is a fundraiser, highlighting a particular brand or following a specific theme. Welcome the audience. Organize outfits into runs and put the descriptions in the proper order. Double-check with organizers to ensure the script matches the order of model appearance. Some fashion shows will have entertainment or guest speakers between runs, mark such elements in your script. At the end of the show, include the emcee's closing speech along with any thank yous to models, designers or sponsors.
Formatting the Script
Find out how the emcee wants the script structured -- whether she can read it from a hand-held tablet or from hard copy. Put the name of the outfit in bold or all caps with the name of the designer and model immediately after it. Leave a space and then include the description you wrote. You may choose to put key facts in bold for easier reading. Break up your descriptions into short paragraphs so they are easy to read. Read the script aloud to ensure it flows and follows the time sequences. Adjust as necessary.