BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – Completed in 1862, Queensland’s stately Old Government House doesn’t exactly conjure up images of trendy fashions. But the neoclassical building, with its sandstone façade and architectural flourishes, provided a dramatic backdrop for the sleek luxury cars and chic couture from hot designers like Camilla, Ginger & Smart, Dion Lee and Alice McCall that took center stage during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.
Tying the stunning 19th and 21st century visuals together into a beautifully balanced panorama was a colorful and adroitly crafted lighting design by Tim Allder of Chameleon Systems that featured 110 CHAUVET Professional COLORdash Par H12IP fixtures, supplied by Showtools International.
To light the runways that ran on three sides of the iconic building, Allder had his COLORdash fixtures positioned on top of ground support vertical towers. Each tower had a 4-meter pipe on top that held five of the RGBAW+UV LED wash lights.
“We relied on the COLORdash fixtures to set the mood on the walk-in, as well as to light the building’s columns,” said Allder. “The building provided an excellent backdrop for the catwalk with lots of depth for us to play with, and the colors from the COLORdash really helped us accentuate these architectural features.”
The color rendering capabilities of the COLORdash fixtures were also essential to highlighting the models and their outfits. “We used the fixtures to create hot, cold and medium skin tones that enhanced what the models were wearing during each segment,” said Allder. “For the brighter designs we had warmer colors and then pale blue-lavenders for the cooler apparel.”
Having the lights positioned high atop towers, out of sightlines to the catwalk, was essential to maintaining the clean, elegant look of the fashion show. However, it also made it more challenging to control lighting and maintain smooth, even fields without spillage.
“Our biggest challenge in a project like this is to keep the levels and color tones even along the entire catwalk, even with the limited number of locations we had to work from,” said Allder. “Happily, we were able to do this with no difficulty, all while give the building an amazing look with colors. Plus, we got no complaints from photographers about light levels. Graham ‘DB’ Jelly, my co-designer and operator, deserves a lot of credit for making this work.”
Given that this was an outdoor event, Allder and Jelly also appreciated the IP65 rating of the COLORdash fixtures. “Our weather was fine, but we want to go with a fixture that is IP65 rated and reliable when we’re outdoors,” said Allder. “The lights are not the stars of an event like this, but everyone is depending on lighting to create the kind of atmosphere that makes the event a success.”