Nick Gray of London, UK based creative lighting design practice Renegade designed lighting for the main British Fashion Council (BFC) Courtyard Show Space at Somerset House for London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2013.
Offsite, he lit a variety of leading shows including Vivien Westwood, L’Wren Scott, Rocksander, Mark Fast, Kinder Aggugini and Pringle.
It’s the seventh season that Gray has lit the BFC space, featuring up to five or six shows per day for a plethora of leading designers including Marios Schwab, Issa, Emilio de la Morena, Bora Aksu, Jasper Conran and numerous others.
Working for show producers Bacchus, Gray’s lighting design featured a three truss format overhead – centre and two sides - running the full 25 metres of the catwalk.
The set this year featured a wider entranceway for the models and an elegant chevron-shaped wood / black carpet runway, all of which required a few changes to the lighting.
Around 170 ETC Source Fours were rigged on the overhead trusses and also used to make up the front array, while the entrance and back wall was lit with ten strategically positioned Svobodas, all masked from view.
Lighting was operated by Paulus van Heijkant running a Chamsys MQ100, and Renegade’s Crew Chief was Alex Murphy.
Highlights included an extra show for Mario Schwab, where Gray positioned active Sunstrips along the edges of the runway, cross-lighting it at floor / foot level. Ten Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300s fitted with custom rectangular gobos rigged on strategically placed rigging bars and a hazer were added to ramp up the atmosphere, and the show was run with lighting from the middle overhead truss only.
This morphed into London Fashion Weekend, which saw the installation of a stage in the Space with a live performance by Labrinth, for which Gray rocked-up the lighting substantially, adding 12 Martin Professional Mac Auras, 12 x CP Sharpies and a bunch of strobes.
There was never a dull moment when Vivien Westwood revealed her Red Label collection at the Saatchi Gallery, taking over a whole floor for the show, delighting the crowds with her rapacious talent and ability to shock and bring a simmering fusion of rebellion, idiosyncrasy and inspiration to the catwalk!
Gray’s lighting design built up front arrays of ETC Source Fours in each of the galleries for photography positions and integrated these with the overhead house lighting which resembled large light boxes. His client was My Beautiful City.
Scott set the scene for her LFW debut with a banquet style seating arrangement at # 1 St George Street, where guests ate a meal whilst the models swooshed by on the runway.
Gray added to the glamour and luxury of the experience, lighting the room with an abundance of gelled source four par floorcans, enhancing the beautiful golden architecture & detail.
Making sure the lighting rig didn’t distract from the space, the huge front array was designed to integrate into the press riser with 45 variable Source Fours used for backlight. Two single ‘stick’ towers were also installed out of shot, rigged with ETC Source Fours, and the tables were lit with a textured golden wash of light that helped build the initial atmosphere.
Rocksanderrocked at the Savoy Ballroom with a lighting rig comprising of 95 Source Four Pars and 24 x variable Source Fours, all rigged on an unorthodox overhead trussing installation.
Gray lit back-to-back shows by Mark Fast and Kinder Aggugini at the ME Hotel in Covent Garden, again for Bacchus. For the boutiquey Pringle presentation at the Bankside Gallery he highlighted the room with a series of floor and tripod based MSR fresnels.
Back at Somerset House, this time in the Portico Rooms, he worked with Urban Electrics to light the Eudon Choi presentation, utilising HMI Pocket PARs and a selection of other HMI lightsources for the daylight show, all of which accentuated the filmic vibe of the collection.
Even whilst dealing with the somewhat hectic Fashion Week schedule, the glamour continued for Gray, who managed to squeeze in a couple of other high profile shows – the BAFTAs and two Brits after-parties.
He’s lit the official BAFTA Film Awards After Party for many years working for AD Events, and once again designed a fabulous full lighting scheme for the star-studded bash staged in the Ballroom of London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
Two days after LFW AW13 concluded, Gray deposited some more lighting magic for Soho House and Universal Music at the former Midland Bank building on Poultry; and the same night for Warner Music at the Savoy Ballroom, an epic event for which he designed custom video arches made from a single pixel video flex.