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Runway Stage
Your Project Runway: Design your Catwalk Stage
Rent a Runway be a Runway Designer
Couture Catwalk Lighting
Fashion Week Inspired Runway Stages
Runway Music
Fashion Show Tips
Runway Walk
Runway Posing
Runway Rental Price

Runway Stage

They're found in London, Paris, Milan, New York and Los Angeles, they are the runways and catwalks for Fashion Week. These long strips of marked floor are brightly lit stages set to showcase a clothing designer's latest fashions and creations. Pulsating music fills the air as frantic hair stylists, backstage stage hands, make-up artists, and designers primp and prepare models to sashay down the runway to debut a garment to early awaiting fashionistas, editors, celebrities, stylists, and other various industry buyers. It is imperative for a designer that their creations are showcased in a positive light, on a professional stage, with high quality sound and visual effects to evoke strong feelings within potential clients. WNY Sound knows your showcase can make or break your collection, so we work with our clients to make every detail, every diamond, every accessory, reflect the brilliance of each designer under our professional powerful and creative stage lights. 

Your Project Runway: Design your Catwalk Stage

No matter what kind of event you are holding, from high end fashion show to debut your hottest new line of clothing, to a college fashion show, to a fundraiser event, a beautiful stage is imperative to showcase your collection.  To begin your project runway stage design development read on below.

Runway Length

There is no average length for a runway stage. Runway stage length and width vary according to a variety of factors including fashion designer preference, clothing styles to be shown, number of models, venue, and overall atmosphere of the collection. A general rule of thumb when determining the length of a runway is to determine the size of the venue and then construct your runway length to be two-thirds the length of your room. Remember to keep in mind the area of space needed for your backstage will factor into the runway length according to venue as well. The runway design is your custom project and your chance to shine so give it the attention it deserves!

Runway Width

Fashion show runway width may vary according to the overall volume of the garment vs. number of models on the same stretch of runway at a time. Some high end designers design their stages like true project art pieces, with curves and cutouts. For fashion shows, the basic stage width is roughly 4’. A four-foot wide stage is the most basic runway design and allows for one model to comfortably pose at the end of the runway to display a clothing item, and then turn to walk easily past an oncoming design behind her. The 4’ runway width is ideal for small to medium sized fashion shows that do not have optimal space for a larger runway. For a basic fashion show our 4’ runway will fit your need for a great stage to allow your audience an optimal viewing experience!

If you are hosting a runway show in a larger venue such as a banquet hall, mall, arena, gym, or other large open space, we recommend our 8’ wide runway stage. The added width allows for more models, better viewing experiences for larger audiences, and more space to showcase larger garments such as bridal dresses or prom gowns. We recommend this stage width for all of our bridal fashion shows as it showcases bridal and prom designs beautifully! 

Runway Stage Shape

Most commonly and classically, a runway or catwalk is set to be in the center of a room stretching down the center elevated slightly above the ground in a T-shaped formation. A black backdrop with a center opening is standard for small to medium fashion shows. Custom flat backdrops can be created to allow multiple entrances and exits for models. Custom flat backdrops are an excellent choice if you are looking for an elegant way to display your logo or other sponsors for your event. Custom flat backgrounds are created especially for you in accordance to your stage specifications. Some other common runway stage shapes include circular or box shaped runways so that models only walk in a circle without having to stop and change direction. An “I” shaped stage is a adaptation of the “T” shaped runway stage design that is great for showcasing an entire collection for a true grand fashion finale! Feel free to get creative with your specific project and design your runway with fun flair!

Rent a Runway be a Runway Designer

It can be a lot of work selecting the perfect stage setup, the appropriate lighting elements necessary to make a collection look its best, not to mention selecting the sound system needed to pump the pulsating music for your models to strut their stuff down the runway. For ease of use, WNY Sound has crafted a basic runway design with the essentials for your next college fashion show or charity fundraiser event.

Your Basic Runway Stage Rental Essentials

♦ 28' long runway length elevated 8” from the ground on gray-carpeted stages platforms
♦8'x8'x8' Black Backdrop with 4'x4'x7' center opening on Black base.
♦ B-52 Sound System Complete with 15” Speakers on Stands and Subwoofers
♦Mix board & Ipod Cable
♦Sure SM Microphone
♦Two 11' tall Aluminum Light Trees with Bases
♦4 Fresnel Lantern Light Fixtures per Light Tree

Runway Pricing Starting at $100 per stage section!


Runway Stage Selection

Depending upon your venue and audience expectations, you may choose to have your runway higher or lower to the ground. Depending upon if you choose to have a seated audience or a standing audience you may select a lower or higher stage platform respectively to show your clothing design collection in the best light and viewing angle possible.

For a seated small audience in an intimate venue, you may choose to rent our 8’x8”x4’ gray carpeted platform stages. This allows a seated audience to see the elevated garments from a viewing angle beneficial to show the garment in the best light.

For a standing or large audience in a larger more commercial venue, you may choose to rent our 8’x2’x4’ runway stage sections. For added elegance, add black skirting to surround the black top painted platforms to really draw attention upwards to the clothing collections being shown.   By elevating your stage, you allow a larger audience an improved viewing experience while also giving photographers better photo opportunities to take stunning photographs of your designs.

Runway Lighting

Couture Catwalk Lighting

Fall, spring, summer, and winter; as the seasons & styles change, so should your runway lighting design options. Create your own couture catwalk lighting scheme with our various lighting options including Fresnels, Par 56’s, LED lights, intelligent lighting, lasers, digital projection, specialty effects and more!  

Spring Runway Lighting

Spring fashion should be showcased in subdued soft lighting under medium focus Fresnel lighting. A very light and airy atmosphere should be conveyed to your audience to invoke feelings of tulips and fresh green gardens. Spring is a new beginning so open your audiences to your fashions with your cheery spring collection of clothing.

Fall Runway Fashion Light Options

For fall fashion runway shows, think warm colors, reds, oranges, and yellows to light your venue and project a crisp fall feel to your eagerly awaiting audience of fashionistas. For added fun uplight your models with a combination of black light uplighting options to really make your whites and other couture accents pop on your fall runway models.

Winter Runway Special Effects

Winter fashion runway shows should use bright lights mixed with subdued gray lighting options to reflect the comfort and cozy as well as the bright lights reflecting off of fresh snow. Speaking of snow- why not rent a snow machine to have lovely delicate flakes of snow fall all around your custom designs? Reflect your elegant and classic couture styles by renting a snow machine to parallel your designs individuality with delicate snowflakes.

Summer Runway Splendor

Summer fashions should be all about fun and so should your runway lighting! Bright lights and cheery intelligent stage lights will light your models to give them a true glow amongst the flashing bulbs of fashion photographers. To really up the ante, rent a bubble machine to elegantly and silently blow bubbles out over your audience to invoke fun free feelings and positive thoughts when viewing your couture clothing collection.

Runway Uplighting

Floor Lights that light models from below are essential to displaying all aspects of your fashions. Uplighting is a term used to describe the stage lighting used for runways to light from the ground up, as the typical ceiling to floor light schemes will not suffice for professional fashion shows. To avoid shadows and unflattering lighting on models, uplighting is used to spread light more evenly across your runway models.

Fashion Week Inspired Runway Stages

Every season designers strive to set themselves apart from the other fashion competitors. While clothing does speak for itself at times, an overall fashion experience will leave a more resounding effect overall on an audience. By gaining inspiration from other designers and production staff you can dream up a custom runway show and the experts at WNY sound will help you achieve that vision! From floating smoke bubbles to light tubes as seen on the runway via John Galliano, to strobe lighting and full effects from your favorite televised lingerie fashion shows, we are ready and waiting for you to discuss your dream stage designs with us and eager to aid you in design conception to execution.

Runway Music

Think of the last fashion show you viewed. The models sashaying down the runway in stride to the tunes of rhythmic beats as camera light bulbs flashed all around. Music selection is as crucial as color and lighting schemes, and some consider catwalk music selection more important than visual effects. Your runway music will set the tone and atmosphere as a collection is being shown to audiences. Music is used to invoke, inspire, and empower. For example- Imagine running on a treadmill endlessly at the gym when you’ve forgotten your ipod at home, and then imagine being a model wearing next to nothing in large uncomfortable clunky shoes faced with the task of walking in stride to the sound of silence. Is the importance of good runway music becoming more apparent? Your choice of music is the soundtrack to your own movie playing out before you on the runway.

Models tend to prefer music selections with a relatively high BPM or Beats Per Minute count with a solid backbeat. Music choices with an easily identifiable beat allow them to keep in rhythm as they walk a catwalk. The high BPM in turn accelerates heart rates and invokes feelings of excitement within an audience and as a great beat takes over just before the first garment appears on the runway, that music has heightened feelings of suspense and built anticipation. By getting an audience excited, their ability to take in and focus on the designs is also increased.

For the best beats and sounds, consider consulting with one of WNY Sound’s professional DJs to discuss and design a sound-scape for your event. Our experienced mix master DJs can help you custom design a couture mood and atmosphere to fit your collection.

Fashion Show Tips

Milan, London, New York and Paris are notorious for their elegant fashion week runways and catwalks. During a fashion show models sashay down a brightly lit raised stage, commonly known as a runway, or a fanciful marked strip of floor commonly known as a catwalk wearing designer's creations that vary from wearable to completely unmarketable art forms.  A garment designed to be completely over the top for conventional purposes are typically perfect for editorial purposes. For a specific clothing item design to be considered “editorial” would be a design that stands out or pops and can add interest for a magazine cover or fashion spread.

Runway Walk

Many basic smaller fashion shows, often models selected are unfamiliar with the modeling world and are looking for runway walk tips. To accommodate this need we’ve compiled a few basics tips here for runway newbies.

Runway Walk Tip One. Everything starts with projecting confidence. Stand tall and proud and walk head up without looking at your feet. To gain confidence in your overall presentation practice walking with your shoulders back, face forward, and avoid looking down!

Runway Walk Tip Two. Stay on your toes! By practicing walking on the ball of your foot just below your toes, the end result will be a graceful stride in heels rather than a clunky heel-toe walk that makes you look like a newborn bambi in strange shoes.

Runway Walk Tip Three. Select your stride. Elongate your stride by lifting your feet and bending the knee and then placing it at a comfortable yet confident length away from your supporting leg. Don’t lift your knees too high or make your strides too short to avoid looking like a soldier rather than the graceful model you’re trying to project!

Runway Walk Tip Four. Keep your head on straight! Focus on an object ahead of you- but not an audience member, as you don’t wish to creep them out. Fix your face with an expression that matches the designer desire and overall feel of the design to reflect best on the garment.

Runway Walk Tip Five: Pay attention to your arms! Don’t swing them side to side and keep fingers curled naturally and relaxed at your sides, but avoid letting them look balled up- it’s a secret tip to shake out your hands before getting on the runway to aid them looking more relaxed and natural on the runway.

Last helpful hints for the runway- watch other models and then videotape your own walk. By watching yourself comparatively you can obtain and improve more runway walking techniques. And above all else, practice and be confident. The worst thing that can happen is a fall, and the best way of offsetting a fall is in good humor by getting up smiling about it, then resuming your stride in a relatively timely fashion. Lots of practice and confidence will offset any fears you may have! Best Wishes!

Runway Posing

Your designer or production team should aid you in selecting appropriate direction when selecting runway poses. Have prepared an entrance pose, an end of runway pose, and an exit pose. Practice your end of runway pose the most often, as it will be the most important of your poses. Practice your runway poses by taking a few strides up to a full length mirror and then shift your weight from your left to right foot looking forward always to offer photographers a good shot, then turn as you would towards the end of the runway. Only strike one pose at the end of a runway unless otherwise instructed, as it is in bad taste to “showboat” at a runway show unless instructed to. Keep your arms in opposite of your legs, as in having one hand on a hip with another remaining downward- this pose is excellent for displaying design lines on a garment. Have fun and happy posing!

What are you waiting for? Call 716-877-6565 to learn more!

Runway Stages & Runway Stage Rentals from WNY Sound serving Erie, Niagara, Chatauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, Wyoming, Genesee, Orleans, Monroe, Wayne, Ontario, and Steuben Counties, Buffalo, Western New York, WNY, Clarence, Clarence Center, Amherst, East Amherst, Cheektowaga, Orchard Park, Hamburg, Depew, Snyder, Getzville, Williamsville, Tonawanda, and Kenmore areas!

Call us today to talk to a WNY Sound representative!

716-877-6565

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