top of page

New York Fashion Week 2019 was all about lighting: The Top 6 Illuminated Runways and Moments

Theatrical inspired lighting: Savage X Fenty by Rihanna
Theatrical inspired lighting: Savage X Fenty by Rihanna

New York fashion week is over, models throughout the world can let out a collective sigh of relief, and sit back to enjoy a brief moment of accomplishment—and maybe just one secret spoonful of Ben & Jerry’s. Despite the fact that during runway shows the viewers’ focus is on clothing and models, most attendees have no understanding of the most crucial aspect of a fashion show–lighting. Illumination will make or break a show and plays an integral role in the success of any fashion event. The careful balance of LED spotlights and floods gives the runway its outstanding appeal—transforming it from a mere ramp into the platform that launches next season’s trends. Light is intrinsically connected to all other details of the runway. LED lights direct an audience’s gaze to complexity in skin tone, highlights the models, provides atmosphere, aids in photography—and of course—focuses attention on the outfits.

So, what is the best lighting fixture for fashion shows? The answer is, an ellipsoidal reflector spotlight.

Powerful lighting instruments, commonly used for theater and stage, collect light and direct a radiant beam that can be adjusted to match whatever size subject you wish to illuminate. Some ellipsoidal fixtures are DMX controlled and come with gel and GOBO holders that change the color and shape of the beam. A fashion show, for instance, would require warm white lighting that reveals the natural colors in the outfits.

Let’s dive into the genius lighting and best runway looks we all enjoyed during the remarkable New York Fashion Week 2019.

1. Theatrical inspired lighting: Savage X Fenty by Rihanna

The focus of the Savage X Fenty lingerie fashion show concentrated on women of all sizes and complexion. Theatrical lights were used to exhibit the comfort and beauty in each size. “Women should wear lingerie for their damn selves” —Rihanna. Stay tuned, this fantastic light show is set to be broadcast by Amazon Prime Video at the end of September.