29  January


The Coterie gathered last night to hear a panel of fashion insiders debate the key issues facing the backstage teams at Fashion Week. Over two electrifying hours, the conversation flowed from commercial pressures and brand control, to social media and freedom of speech, model bookings and rights issues and a blogger’s place in the front row hierarchy. Through our panellists’ shared expertise and insight we understood the importance of having mentors backstage to help guide new arrivals in backstage etiquette, why communication is so important in the backstage cauldron, and how to manage expectations when you get over 6,000 requests for tickets to a show. One of the evening’s hottest debates – involving both panel and audience alike – was the issue of payment for assistants at Fashion Week and whether the opportunity simply to be backstage is payment enough. Opinion was divided, but one thing everyone agreed on is that people are more driven and perform better if they’re hungry – both literally and figuratively!


Our panel:

LIAM CURRAN has styled hair for i-D, Dazed & Confused and Lana del Ray, and is the hot new name in session circles.


MARIA COMPARETTO has been an international make-up artist for 20 years, working for some of the most influential brands in fashion – Chanel, Versace, and Prada, to name but a few.


EMMA DAVIES runs her eponymous agency representing creatives including Leigh Keates, George Northwood, Sarah Clark, Anna Cofone and Maria Comparetto.


PORTIA SHAW owns and runs POP PR, a boutique fashion and beauty PR agency based in Oxford Circus, London


NIKKI SHELDON runs The Show Space, a flagship show venue at LFW, producing and casting for both on and off schedule designers.


DANIELLE WIGHTMAN-STONE is Fashion News Editor at FashionUnited, as well as the founder of the well-known blog, Fashionista Barbie.

Sklilfully running the session was Coterie committee member KATHRYN DARTNELL, art director at Haringtons, and regularly assisting in all four fashion capitals, as well as shooting her own editorials.


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