Behind the runway at Vogue

Vogue Charity Fashion Show president Amanda Sadler explains the organized chaos that occurs backstage

Vogue Charity Fashion Show had their last all-cast rehearsal on Wednesday night in MacGillivray Brown Hall.
Vogue Charity Fashion Show had their last all-cast rehearsal on Wednesday night in MacGillivray Brown Hall.
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After four years in Vogue Charity Fashion Show, Amanda Sadler has two goals for her last show.

“My goal this year is not to cry,” she said. “Not to fall, not to cry.”

Sadler, ArtSci ’12, started as a dancer and an intern in her first year, moving on to be clothing manager in her second year, charity director last year and president this year. The upcoming show will be her modelling debut, showing off an elaborate ball gown in the opening number.

“This year the cast is a little bit smaller, it’s 130 this year [down from 150],” she said. “We’ve scaled down just a little bit planning wise and to give everyone more of chance to dabble in any area that they want.”

On Monday, the cast and crew will move into the Grand Theatre for a string of 12-hour days in preparation for the show.

“We start at nine o’clock in the morning and go till about four-ish for tech run,” Sadler said. “Everyone comes in at a different time during the day to be able to block their scene, practice on stage, get all their tech cues ready.”

After a quick dinner break, the entire cast will return for a rehearsal of all 22 scenes of the show.

On show days, models have a 5:30 p.m. call time, giving them time to get their hair, make-up and clothes ready.

“We’ve got 12 stylists back there trying to get everyone done in about three hours so that gets a little bit crazy,” Sadler said.

While things may get hectic trying to get everyone ready for the show, the back of the Grand is sectioned off to keep the cast organized. The downstairs area holds a green room where cast members can watch the show from a live video feed. Backstage is dedicated to quick clothing changes, as Sadler explained there are some instances where models have 30 seconds to change from tap shoes and an outfit from the Gap into a full-length dress. The upper levels of the Grand are dedicated to racks of clothing.

Sadler said her sewing skills are lacking so she won’t be carrying an emergency sewing kit — she’s leaving that up to the designers. Sadler’s emergency kit is dedicated to keeping the show organized, including phone numbers of the cast and sponsors and a list of sizes for all the models.

“Sometimes we have to order clothes from head office instead of the local store,” Sadler said. “We’ve had it before that they’ve sent the wrong order so we’ve had to tell everyone to get their Urban Outfitters clothing and bring it to the show.”

While Sadler is preparing for any possible clothing problems, her biggest concern is someone getting sick or injured.

“In terms of modelling there’s so much choreography that’s been going into it and every single outfit is tailored to a specific model so you really got to hope that everyone can just pop an Advil and go out on stage anyways,” she said.

Sadler used to dance, so she has helpful advice for the female cast on how to give themselves more traction in their shoes.

“We would put Coke on the bottom of our tap shoes to get them to not slip,” she said before quickly clarifying what she meant. “Coke, yep, like Coca Cola.”

Though Sadler knows the dress she will be wearing in the opening model number, she has yet to figure out what she will be wearing on stage when she’s not modelling, despite vice-president Jacob Channen already having his outfit planned and instructing her to find something that matches him for their speeches. Instead Sadler is focused on keeping the cast motivated, which she does by reminding them of their work for this year’s charity Home Base Housing – a local non-profit shelter for women and children.

“When they get to meet the kids from the charity that we’re supporting, they actually really become excited about making a difference in these kids’ lives,” Sadler said mentioning 10 of the children from the charity will be in the audience at Wednesday’s opening show.

“I know that’s what kind of motivates me when things get crazy, I just get really excited about the change we can make for them.”

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Interview: Alyssa Ashton
Camera: Justin Chin
Editor: Justin Chin

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