Nick Gray from London, UK-based creative lighting design practice Renegade was commissioned to design a scheme for the recent Yojhi Yamamoto “Fashion In Motion” live catwalk show in the Raphael Gallery at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum.
Gray was working for show producers Bacchus, a regular client with whom he works on many London Fashion Week events, and for whom he also recently lit Lagos Fashion Week in Nigeria and a concert performance by Beyonce. He has also previously lit a Fashion In Motion show at the same venue for Kenzo.
The high profile Yamamoto event featured some classic men’s and women’s creations from the acclaimed Japanese designer which were also part of a major retrospective exhibition of his work on show at the V&A.
Gray’s brief was open, other than that the producers preferred to work in a daylight colour temperature. He also decided to add in a few quirks in keeping with Yamomoto’s oeuvre for subverting conventions and expectations. There was a limited amount of power in the room, so this had to be carefully calculated when creating the design.
The lit environment also needed to complement the architecture and ambience of the space which houses the ‘Raphael Cartoons’, surviving designs painted by Italian Renaissance painter Raphael of tapestries commissioned in Rome by Pope Leo X in 1515.
For the first time, Gray chose to work with Panalux as Renegade’s equipment company partner as they have large rental stocks of all the daylight lightsources that he needed, which included 24 x 1.2K fresnels, 8 x 400W HMI Source Fours with a selection of lenses ranging from 5 to 26 degrees and 4 x 500W HMI fresnels.
The lighting desk was an grandMA ultra-light provided by Renegade.
The trussing design brought an industrial look and a sense of form and definition to the room, with two seven metre high box trusses built as support structures to provide overhead lighting positions above the runway – as there was no other way to achieve this. The ‘contrast technique’ worked seamlessly as a juxtapositional concept set against the arched ceiling of the Raphael Room.
Using the daylight sources gave a specific edge to the texture of the lighting and was a shift away from the more genteel approach of using an entirely tungsten rig. With less dimming control over the HMI fixtures, it also meant that the positioning of every single unit was crucial.