Go Behind the Scenes of a Couture Fitting
"It's after midnight, in the early morning hours of show day, the 3rd of July," designer Monique Lhuillier tells InStyle. "We are in our temporary atelier in the heart of Paris, the 2nd arrondissement, only 10 minutes from our show space in Place Vendôme. Our model, Nora arrives for the final fitting of the night, the floral taffeta strapless finale ball gown."
A Perfect Fit
Before looking at the dress as a whole, the gown needs to sit properly on the model. With so much weight in the skirt, an inside belt is used to hold the model comfortably in the bodice.
From the Top
"With each fitting, we start at the bodice and work our way to the hem," Lhuillier tells InStyle.com. Here, you can see the pleats are being opened to be re-draped both on the model and on the form.
Lhuillier re-drapes the pleated bodice directly on the model following the curves of the model's torso to ensure the gown fits like a glove.
Check, Check, and Check Again!
With so many under layers of tulle, petticoat structure, and linings, the designer and her team pull the layers flat in an effort to check the finished hem length.
All Together Now
The model lends the designer hand as the alteration team is working on her hem. It's a group effort.
After the model is fit in her look, a variety of photos are taken for reference. The dressers (magical fairies backstage who make sure the models look A+) receive images of each gown to see how the entire ensemble should be presented on the runway.
Both the front, back, side view and shoes are photographed for dresser cards. Nothing is left to the imagination and all dresser notes (these are the little memos given to backstage handlers to help get the models up to snuff to walk the runway) are relayed to the show production team to ensure an easy effortless backstage change.