Leading UK lighting and sound rental company Entec supplied lighting production for three high profile shows at London Fashion Week – Paul Smith, Mulberry and Moschino. A projection system and media server was also provided for Paul Smith, and all three projects were once again managed for Entec by Adam Stevenson.

Paul Smith featured the largest lighting rig and was the biggest space, staged in the Lawrence Hall of the Royal Horticultural Halls in Victoria, central London. It also accommodated one of the largest audiences of the whole event. Entec has supplied lighting for Paul Smith’s LFW shows for at least the last eight years, working with several different lighting designers in the process.

Lec Croft was Paul Smith’s LD for this season (and also last), who has an illustrious LFW history dating back to the late 1980s! The creative brief this time continued on from the summer collection showcase in September staged in the same room – and this was to make it completely different and a total contrast.

So, this time around it all went darker and blacker for winter. The show’s creative director Kamran Khavari and producers Miller Khavari wanted to recreate the tone and feel of an intimate one-on-one small studio photo shoot – even though it was a massive space – and this required very precise lighting.

The set – comprising the entrance wall and ‘back’ wall of the square runway circuit – were identical and diametrically opposite – with video / photography platforms at the end of each long run.

A massive 21-leg, seven arch ground support system was installed into the venue to get lighting positions in the required places, which Entec commissioned Actus Events to provide. This was 24 metres wide and 50 long, with 6.4 metres of headroom. Made from shiny, strong mini-beam trussing, it provided a very stylish juxtaposition to the room with its domed ceiling and dramatic curved architecture.

Entec supplied over 200 ETC Source Four Profiles with various different lenses which were placed along the central spines of the trussing, with two banks of front light behind the two photography platforms.

A hundred and twenty of the Source Fours with 50 degree lenses were all tightly shuttered and focused down onto the catwalk, creating the perfect photographic lighting conditions all the way down the two 100 ft ‘long’ sides of the runway. These luminaires were all fitted with linear frost gel to stretch the light that bit extra.

The profiles on the end banks ranged from 10 to 50 degree and these also had ¼ frost to provide a slight softening of the hard edges while still remaining focusable.

The control console was an Avolites Sapphire 2004, which was programmed by Fraser Elisha and run by Lec Croft for the show.

Lec comments, “Entec are really a dream to work with! Nothing is too much trouble and both Adam and Noreen (O’Riordan) really go the extra mile every time to ensure that you have everything you need on site, that all the details are covered and that you’re taken care of perfectly”.

A key part of the brief was to project a series of unusual and off-beat colours onto the entrance and end walls – a pair of identical large flats with Scannachrome printed surfaces and selected splashes of white ‘light’ effects – Entec supplied four Barco R10+ projectors, which were run as two doubled up pairs. Together with content stored on a Hippotizer media server, these were set up and run by Entec’s Ryan Brown.

Brown created masks in the Hippotizer so the content could be fully concentrated on the white areas of the flats for the desired effect, and four bespoke colours were chosen to be projected to match the winter collection.

Entec’s crew were co-ordinated on site by regular LFW crew chief Simon Honnor and consisted of Sven Jolly, Tim Matthews, Andy Emmerson, Steve Clements and John Cope – in addition to Brown and Elisha and a 5 person Actus rigging team.

Also supplied were a quantity of 4-way Kino Flo fluorescent units and stands for the preparation area.

The Mulberry and Moschina shows were staged in Claridges’ Ballroom and 29 Portland Place respectively, and both lit by Simon Tutchener – another LFW maverick designer.

The Mulberry show utilised Entec’s brand new Robe ROBIN 600 LEDWash moving lights which were specified by Tutchener, together with ETC Source Fours, and was put together and managed on site by Entec’s Pete “Pepper” Schofield. Simon lit Moschino with a selection of MSR fresnel heads and ETC Source Fours, and this was run for Entec by Andy Mountain.

Pod Bluman Associates supplied the projection elements.

BOB illustrated how Entec can be extremely flexible as a rental operation, and pull all the stops out to make it happen. Adam Stevenson concludes, “We always enjoy working with Charlie and this was a great event in which to be involved for many reasons, including rising to the challenges of thinking quickly and on our feet to find solutions at short notice”.

Best of Britannia was extremely well received.