Thomas Alexander, first assistant to Nick Knight
I'm the first assistant to Nick Knight. I help Nick in any way I can, whether that's doing pre-production for shoots or working on the shoots themselves, physically moving the lighting and whatever else it takes to achieve his vision. I'm the one helping him do that, along with the rest of the team. With regards to SHOWstudio I tend to do a little bit of everything, whether that be 3D printing, painting the cove or shooting interviews. It's a very varied and exciting job which I'm very lucky to have.
I've been full-time at SHOWstudio for about two and a half years, but I was working freelance before that for three or four years. I started to see SHOWstudio firsthand while I was a studio assistant at Park Royal - I was the one cleaning the kitchen and repainting the cove while Nick was shooting. That's what got me really excited about it in the first place, seeing this world firsthand where creativity was prized above anything else and seeing Nick's devotion to his craft. It was obviously very inspiring for a young studio assistant.
SHOWstudio is a very exciting place because it puts all commercial interests to one side and focuses on how to make classic projects and how to innovate and change the world of fashion for the better, all while pioneering a new way of looking at the world and image-making as a whole.
My favourite project I've worked on at SHOWstudio is S.W.A.L.K. and S.W.A.L.K. II. It felt as though it was a totally new thing carved out by Nick and John Galliano as this departure from the catwalk and this new form of communication that streams direct to anyone who wants to tune it. It does away with the hierarchy and elitism of fashion because, all of a sudden, you can be some 14-year-old kid in the middle of nowhere in Australia and John Galliano is talking to you directly about the concepts behind his latest collection.
Working on S.W.A.L.K. was a bit of a whirlwind. Both films were shot amongst the Covid-19 regulations and lockdown, so, although you're legally allowed to shoot, it puts huge implications on how you go about doing things: the types of places where you're allowed to shoot, the amount of crew you're allowed to have. It's a totally new way of working where you have to prioritise not inadvertently making someone ill over anything else. That was the main concern. You don't want to hurt somebody else for work, but also you don't want to stop making work, so you do the best that you can. Another project I enjoyed working on was The Sound of Lights Own Destruction / 2. Again, it was a purely creative masterpiece which I was lucky to work on as a freelance assistant.
It's difficult to pinpoint one or two points regarding how SHOWstudio has contributed to the world of fashion since it's so wide-reaching. SHOWstudio and Nick's ideas have percolated out into the world and completely changed the landscape. The concept of fashion film is something that you almost take for granted now. It's the standard way of viewing fashion now, but 20 years ago that wasn't the case. It's thanks to people like Nick who have pushed against the preexisting norms and really fought for what he believed in as the best way of communicating, striving for the best possible image, whether that's film, stills or 3D imagery. He's always looking for the next exciting thing and the best way of using that to communicate.
My favourite part of the job is the feeling of being on set. It's all very fast-paced and slightly stressful, but you get to work with amazing people and see incredible projects and visions come to life in front of your eyes. There's some amazing collaborative effort from sometimes hundreds of people, all working together to make it all happen.
Michael Gossage, technical supervisor
I am the technical supervisor at SHOWstudio which means I deal with computers, cameras and data. I run a lot of the live streams and help out with the sound on videos when I can.
I discovered SHOWstudio through YouTube; the seasonal panels and Best in Shows were a great way for me to learn about more high fashion collections quickly. I wasn't really a part of the fashion community so I didn't really know any other way apart from Google and HYPEBEAST. I studied sound production at university so when the opportunity to use those skills combined with an interest in fashion arose, I chose to apply for the role and now I have been here for two years. Feels like much less.
Working at SHOWstudio encourages you to iterate and improve on ideas. We are all about trying to push different mediums and methods as far as possible, which creates amazing results. Recently we have been experimenting with 3D printing and bringing more public interaction to the site.
Most recently I worked on a project in collaboration with the Harrods department store that revolved around the future of fashion as the industry had been forced to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. The part of the project I mostly worked on involved showcasing the Spring/Summer 21 season of fashion shows on a large LED wall inside the Harrods store. This massively pushed my skills in live-streaming and forced me to learn a lot about live event production very quickly. It's a privilege to be able to work on these big projects. There is a lot of pressure to get everything right but it’s so rewarding when you manage to pull through and get it done.
I always say Blade of Light with Alexander McQueen is my favourite archive project because I feel it very obviously shows the concept of image-making rather than photography. It is a collage of images retouched and placed together to form one final vision. The idea of creating something impossible in real life is what creative media should show. It should be fantastical, otherwise you could just go outside. Also, the project is with Alexander McQueen, a personal favourite designer of mine and one of the greatest to ever do it. Most recently the S.W.A.L.K. films have been the most enjoyable to watch and being able to see what went into the final product behind the scenes made it even more special.
SHOWstudio’s contribution to pushing the medium of fashion film cannot be downplayed. Simply put, it’s the original and still the best. SHOWstudio gives a platform for the most creative and experimental side of fashion. We work with students all the way to the highest level of fashion couture and that is definitely what makes SHOWstudio different. Without being too dramatic, I think SHOWstudo is helping to democratise fashion, which is an industry that probably still needs it.
Farrah Singh, office manager
I’m the office manager at SHOWstudio, which means that I ensure the company's smooth operation, handle all staff and do administrative studio duties. I also offer support to the production team and photography assistants.
SHOWstudio’s global push towards innovation had me captivated and wanting to see more, so when the opportunity arose for me to work there I jumped at the chance of applying since I wanted to be a part of the journey. I wanted to work with like-minded individuals who value creativity and passion rather than work a nine-to-five job with the cynics of our industry who paint it in a negative light.
Our audience goes behind the scenes and sees the production of most projects, which has been a revelation for most of Nick’s and SHOWstudio’s fans as they really get to grips with what it takes and the thought processes behind the content we produce. All our curiosity and creativity is valued by a community of people eager to see what’s next for the future of fashion, and they support and challenge us to create work that is more forward-thinking. There is no greater feeling than being involved in such an environment.
I have worked on so many projects that I have absolutely loved for many different reasons. In my line of work, which is to help build up and guide team members and past interns, it meant a lot to see Cabaret come to life in a studio screening (an evening with Gareth Pugh in our studio cove with guests). Back story: one of the interns had suggested that we use old films and collaborate with our contributors to host an evening, so seeing that idea evolve to reality was very touching indeed. Everyone at SHOWstudio has ideas which then turn into projects, which then stay on our site forever. That really is something.
My favourite archive project is Fantasia. In 2008 Nick Knight shot a series of the most show-stopping, decade-defining creations of the past ten years for the December issue of British Vogue. Fashion editor Kate Phelan selected unbelievable looks by fashion greats like John Galliano, Thierry Mugler, Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garçons and Gareth Pugh. The project worked to the fullest extent thanks to the dynamic duo of Lily Donaldson and Jourdan Dunn.
I remember my interview with Nick Knight where I occasionally zoned out looking at the image behind him of Fantasia that hangs in his office. I was thinking, ‘If I get this role, I get to be a part of producing such beautiful imagery. I get to see the garments firsthand, the way the models move, the lighting, the editing processes - the beginning to the end.' It all felt very surreal, and my first time watching Fantasia felt exactly the same. It made me feel that sense of fantasy that fashion can offer.
SHOWstudio pioneers live media and fashion film and it allows diversity and freedom of creative speech to unknown artists. It acts as a voice and platform for creatives all around the world and makes a huge contribution to our society, with its encouragement of creative freedom and making knowledge available for free in a world where everything has its price.
Emily Knight, brand partnerships manager
I’m the brand partnerships manager here at SHOWstudio. Over the six years that I've been here, it’s been so great to work with such an array of amazing collaborators from fashion to tech to the arts. You never know who you are going to meet and that’s what makes working at SHOWstudio so special.
Traveling the Moving Kate exhibition to The Mass gallery in Tokyo was the first time any of us had ever been to Japan and we fell in love with it on the trip! It was so exciting to be able to bring the physical side of SHOWstudio across the world. My favourite archive project is Fashion DJs. I remember so clearly being at Abbey Road studios at just 14 years old, seeing Florence and The Machine, who was unknown at the time, blowing everyone away with her mesmerising performance. It’s something I will never forget.
I am always so proud of how SHOWstudio has championed young artists, designers and creatives from the outset, giving them a platform free of industry and commercial pressures.
Thomas Prees, project manager
I’m the project manager at SHOWstudio. Years ago, I watched Iris van Herpen’s LiveStudio for Splash! and, being obsessed with van Herpen’s work, it was amazing to see how she actually made her pieces. It was through this project that I became obsessed with SHOWstudio. As project manager here, I wouldn’t particularly say I have a practice…I just organise stuff.
I like working on our Best in Show series the most. Our recording day is always a laugh and the finished product looks beautiful. My favourite archive project is Joie De Vivre with Gareth Pugh and Raquel Zimmermann…what’s not to love?