Ovation E-190WW and F-165WW LED fixtures help Vancouver rock its Fashion Week in LED style!
VANCOUVER, BC, Canada – Started 13 years ago as a platform where emerging and internationally acclaimed fashion designers alike could exhibit their latest collections in a free-spirited milieu, Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) has become one of the industry’s most highly regarded showcases of creative talent, drawing some 25,000 celebrities, media representatives, buyers and fashion trade professionals to this western Canada city twice a year. The recent Fall-Winter 2014 edition of VFW, held September 15-21, was the largest in the show’s history, bringing together 70 designers representing more than 25 nations – spanning the globe from Australia to Russia, from South Korea to Brazil.
To accommodate its growth, VFW moved to a new site under a massive 14,000 sq. ft. tent at Queen Elizabeth Plaza, marking the first time the glittering fashion extravaganza has been held outdoors. The white saddle-style tent featured a sweeping 90’ runway across its center, with a seating capacity of 720, plus cocktail and interview areas.
Along with the tented venue came a whole new set of challenges for Showmax Event Services (Vancouver), which has designed the lighting for VFW the past three years. The company was engaged initially to “take the event to another level,” said Showmax Executive Director Daniel Sabina — an aesthetic mission it continued to fulfill, while meeting the technical issues posed by the new locale, with a collection of LED Fresnels and Ellipsoidals from CHAUVET Professional, along with LED colorwash strips and par-style fixtures from its sister company CHAUVET DJ. Showmax Event Services acquired the Chauvet products from Canadian Distributor Erikson Pro based in Montreal.
Discussing the main concerns involved in lighting the event, Sabina said, “We wanted a clean, crisp look for the runway, with LED accent lighting for the architecture and side walls. Full lighting coverage of the runway is vital as there are tons of photographers, and they are very picky about even lighting coverage.” Yet, he noted, “the tent offered very limited rigging points – only four – so we had to use the minimum amount of lighting fixtures that would give us the best possible coverage.”
To amplify output and achieve an extremely flat, even field of light, the Showmax team chose CHAUVET Professional’s Ovation E-190WW, a warm white LED Ellipsoidal-style fixture, and Ovation F-165WW, a warm-white LED Fresnel with a motorized 13°-54° zoom that can accommodate barn doors. Sixteen Ovation F-165WWs were used to light the runway itself, eight on each side. Four Ovation E-190WWs served as overhead lighting, attached to the tent’s apex rigging points, while another four E-190WWs illuminated the runway ends, positioned on 12’ truss pillars. This design, coupled with the impressive output of the Ovation F-165WW and Ovation E-190WW — 1,869 lux (13° beam angle) and 4,380 lux (16° beam angle) at 5 meters respectively — yielded the required bright, even runway illumination, while working within the tent’s constraints.
“We chose the Ovation fixtures because of their low power draw, great output and even coverage,” said Sabina. “In the past we used Ellipsoidals for the runway, and this created a lot of hot spots. The Chauvet Fresnels used in a side light configuration with the zoom feature and barn doors for beam shaping gave us a beautiful, even runway wash that didn’t spill into the audience.”
Color was another important element of the lighting design at VFW, given the scope and diversity of the production. Each designer’s work had to be framed to perfection; thus the lighting fixtures had to be capable of creating a vast palette of colors with very subtle nuances. “We created different scenes for the fashion show, based on the designer’s preference,” said Sabina. “There are about eight shows every night, and the designers come from all over the world so they ask for the colors they prefer.”
To fulfill this international potpourri of requests, Showmax relied on CHAUVET DJ’s SlimPAR HEX 3 IRC, a 6-in-1 RGBAW+UV LED par-style fixture, and COLORband PiX, a strip wash light with Tri-Color RGB LEDs and pixel mapping capabilities. A total of 36 SlimPAR HEX units were installed on the tent’s trussing support system, where their low-profile design and the wide color rendering ability of their 6-in-1 LEDs made them a superb choice, said Sabina. “The SlimPAR Hex 3s are the best truss warmer fixture we’ve ever had,” he proclaimed. “They are small, offer RGBAW+UV for a myriad of colors, are easy to use and very versatile.”
Twelve COLORband PiX strips were used for uplighting the fabric side panels of the tent. “The COLORbands do a nice color wash, especially when they are installed side by side to uplight walls. I really appreciate their size, which allowed us to install them 3 inches from the side panels,” said Sabina.
Being easy to work with was another benefit of the Chauvet products that he and his team greatly appreciated, added Sabina, since the project’s timeframe posed another big challenge. “We were given a rough plan for the project and had to finalize the lighting design on the setup day. The tent installation was completed on Sunday at 2 p.m. (the day before the show opened), and that was the first time we got to have a look at the venue. Our lighting team did a great job adapting to the venue and making the most of what we had to work with.”
Apparently others involved with VFW thought so too. “Everyone was very happy,” reported Sabina, “from the lighting team, to the photographers, to the show producer. The client was very pleased, and he feels that the show is now at a whole other level.” True compliments these are, coming from an industry with a most critical eye for style.
For more information about Showmax Event Services, visit: www.showmaxevents.com