If all goes according to plan, by the time the lights dim and a fashion show begins, everything flows seamlessly: The models emerge styled within an inch of their lives, walking in sync with the music. God willing, no one falls. But how does the whole thing come together in the final hours leading up to the show? “It’s kind of the most amazing-slash-hilarious thing to me,” says Shane Gabier, the co-designer of Creatures of the Wind. Preparing for each season’s show is, he says, “like six or seven months of your life, and then it’s over in nine minutes and by the time you kind of catch your breath, everybody’s already at the next show.”
This week, the Cut visited seven designers on the eve of their shows, to catch a glimpse at last-minute fittings, styling sessions, hair and makeup tests — and even one designer paying the bills. From Thom Browne’s last-minute adjustments to Tommy Hilfiger’s football-stadium run-through, click through the slideshow below to see the results and hear what they were all thinking.