Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Front-row politics, no-show models: What really goes on backstage at a fashion show

By Milena Veselinovic, for CNN
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed September 24, 2014
CNN's The Fashion Season: Paris spoke to six industry insiders to find out what it takes to put on a world-class runway show. Click on the flashing icons below to go behind the scenes.

  • Fashion season is underway but how do catwalk shows come together?
  • It takes an army of personnel including producers, hair and makeup artists and more
  • Click the points on the interactive to reveal exclusive insight from industry insiders

Fashion Season: Paris takes you behind the scenes of the Paris catwalks and beyond, exploring the French capital's most stylish hidden corners. Reading this on mobile? Go here.

(CNN) -- It all looks so smooth. Swan-like models glide down the catwalk clad in priceless frocks, perfectly executing their elegant choreography.

But behind these scenes of apparently effortless glamor, an unflappable squad of fashionistas does everything from last-minute garment alterations to replacing models who don't show up to finding a front row seat for a VIP who has turned up unannounced.

And when the designer's brief is a couple of words, something like "Ukrainian Virgin Brides in Snow Boots," as it famously was for John Galliano's Fall 2009 show, the pressure is on to deliver a 10-minute cinematic spectacle which often takes six-months to prepare.

CNN takes you behind the scenes of a fashion week runaway show, bringing you exclusive insights from the industry insiders who turn fashion fantasy into reality.

Part of complete coverage on
CNN Style
updated 11:02 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
After surviving Vichy prisons and Nazi concentration camps, Brian Stonehouse became one of the most prominent fashion illustrators of his age.
updated 5:03 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Award-winning photographer Phil Stern captured everything from the battlefield to Hollywood Boulevard. These are his most iconic images.
updated 9:16 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sony World Photography Awards has released a collection of some of the competition's most beautiful entrants.
updated 5:42 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
Zaha Hadid Qatar 2020 stadium
Are sports stadiums modern-day cathedrals? Leading architects say arenas will soon become our most important social spaces.
updated 6:04 AM EST, Tue December 9, 2014
Whether you think stuffed animals are cool, beautiful, or downright disturbing, this is taxidermy like you've never seen it before.
updated 9:34 AM EST, Thu December 4, 2014
Studio 54 has become synonymous with the glamor and excess of the late Seventies. These rare images capture its debauched side.
updated 8:25 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
It's official: London's getting another landmark. This time it's a stunning plant-covered bridge partly inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio.
updated 2:47 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
1947 Ferrari 125 S, Enzo Ferrari Museum, Modena
For fans of Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini and Pagani, this corner of Europe is a petrol-powered promised land.
updated 5:13 AM EST, Wed December 3, 2014
Victoria Beckham and Emma Watson were among the designers, models and taste-makers recognized at this year's British Fashion Awards.
updated 11:48 AM EST, Tue December 2, 2014
Duncan Campbell's It For Others, which features a dance inspired by Karl Marx and examines African art, has won the prestigious art prize.
updated 11:33 AM EST, Mon December 1, 2014
Simon Beck decorates snow-covered lakes and mountainsides with massive geometric designs using his footsteps as his implement.
updated 10:24 AM EST, Tue November 25, 2014
Houses that melt, float and flip upside down? Alex Chinneck's playful architecture sparks the imagination and begs for a photo-op.