Behind every campaign shoot, runway show and collection release is a cast of individuals that make it all happen. They are the ones responsible for making the fashion industry tick and making sure the garments are ready for their big reveal.
Meet Annie our Production Assistant and one of the doers and thinkers at RUBY HQ.
Annie takes us behind the scenes on our Liam Caramel Revisited AW16 lookbook shoot and reveals the frenzy before showtime...
It’s 8:24am and as I arrive at work I end my daily phone conversation with the classic, “Thanks Mum, love you too”. My mother is an absolute champ, but despite her best efforts, she really has no idea what I do as a Production Assistant. She doesn’t know that I know all of our makers by name and nationality, or that I have a romantic attachment to a Toyota Hiace, and she certainly doesn’t know that most of the time I feel like I’m half headless chicken, half organised, methodical human being.
Anyways, it’s now 8:25am and I wander through the workroom and greet my colleagues with the naivety of a child who doesn’t yet know they’re having cottage pie for dinner (poor fool). I have barely planted my Kimmy-K backside in my seat when the plebs (my seniors) start listing off my tasks for the day. It’s shoot day; fashion speak for frantic. I wheel my chair from my desk to Francey the Production Manager’s desk because somehow this seems like a less confronting means of transport, and together we plan the kind of day Fraulein Maria had before she jammed ‘Climb Every Mountain.’
9:30am approaches and Workroom Manager Aimee flies through the door, trailing our very late but too-beautiful-to-be-mad-at fabric. Production Manager Francey, Pattern Maker Mel, Workroom Manager Aimee and I sweep everything off our desks like we’re Angelia Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith and lay the fabric up to cut like it’s Brad Pitt and we’ve never wanted anything more in our lives.
It’s 12:30pm and I’m on a mission to deliver the aforementioned samples to our maker. Sitting at a traffic light, my ‘Who Run the World’ dance/singing routine is interrupted by a window washer who has about as many teeth as I have patience. Despite signalling to him that it’s a no from me he gives me a wink and proceeds to wash my window for free. Lucky doesn’t describe how I’m feeling right now.
1:00pm and I’ve successfully delivered the goods with strict instructions that both samples need to be ready by 3.00pm. “It’s a fashion emergency,” I said (I didn’t).
It’s 2:00pm and I have a shoe mission to complete before I can set foot back in the studio (When you spend the majority of your time with a van, simple tasks become movie material). I slink into the shoe repairers and ask my great mate Jen whether or not she can stain the heels from white to caramel wood and if so, can she do it in an hour? She assures me that yes, Rachel, she can. Annie is actually my name, but we’re in too deep for me to ever correct her. I form guns with my hands, make a clicking noise with my mouth and shout, “See you in an hour!”
3:30pm rolls around almost as fast as I drive into the studio parking lot. I back the van into a space so tight that I chuck my keys up in the air and catch them on the first go, an action that shows the world you’re winning. Freshly stained heels in one hand, emergency sample in the other, I burst into the studio and offer my goods to designer, dreamer but hardly a diva, Emily Miller-Sharma, who takes them with a smile that gives me a quiet reassurance that she knows the hoops I’ve had to jump through today. I then return to my friend, my ever-faithful steamer, because no classy item of clothing should ever resemble crinkle cut fries.
It’s 5:54pm and the final shot is being, well, shot. I glance to my right and once again see a smiling Emily. Our job is done, it seems, and if you don’t count the clothing rack inflicted egg on my head or the freshly stained heels that never got used, I’d say I’ve had a pretty good day. We start packing up and Em turns to me and reminds me to engage my core. I thank her for her thoughtful input into my physical wellbeing. We load up the van with the samples and I shut the boot. “Who runs the world?” I think to myself. “Girls.”
Thanks Annie x