30 Nov 2015

Robe: BMFLs on the Runway at New Zealand Fashion Week

The chic, the cool and the beautiful rocked up in Auckland to check the latest, greatest and most innovative Kiwi fashion trends and catch the insatiable buzz of New Zealand Fashion Week (NZFW) 2015 at the main show-space in the ANZ Viaduct Events Centre (VEC) located in the city’s vibrant Waterfront area.

Simon Garrett from Oceania Productions lit the show-space which is also known as ‘The Runway’ by NZFW fans. Simon has been involved with the event for many years, but this was his first using 12 x of Robe’s powerful BMFL Spots … which were rigged on a spine truss above the 30 metre polished concrete presentation runway.

Fashion – and its increasing penchant for drama and theatrical presentation – is demanding more thought, imagination and lateral thinking – when it comes to lighting, in addition to the pressure to replicate those camera-perfect flesh tones for the amassed photographers and videographers!


This year Simon’s goal was to bring some extra visual thrills to the party with the versatile BMFLs, and having them on-board also enabled him to create hugely varied lighting and make each collection different and individual, delivering great value for his client, which included event producer, founder and organiser Pieter Stewart.

With the majority of the rig being a standard tungsten set up – 120 plus profiles on three box truss spines above the runway and a substantial front array ahead of the photographer pens – Simon wanted effects lighting that could instantaneously change the whole vibe of the space at the start of the shows, helping them to be memorable and fun.

Robe New Zealand Fashion Week 2015 1650_01405[1]

To create these high-impact opening sequences he required a fixture that was bright, with good CTO control, quality gobos and an effective and efficient zoom – so BMFLs ticked all the boxes!


“The sheer power of the BMFLs is incredible” he stated, “I bounced light off the walls and ceiling for effects as well as projecting onto the entrance way, and the wide range of colour temperature options was invaluable”.

Having the BMFLs on the rig, run via a Hog 4 console, also enabled him to literally close down the space – which accommodated between 400 and 800 guests depending on the show – with areas of light and dark, creating a much more intimate atmosphere and inclusive environment when required.

This approach with lighting was so successful, next year the organisers are looked at making the space more flexible with a variety of catwalk options.

Some of the designers also had specific visual requests, and with the BMFLs right there Simon had a lot more latitude to create and deliver custom looks, working in tandem with video projection mapped on to the front entrance wall.

Simon heads up the lighting department at Oceania Productions, one of New Zealand’s leading rental companies. The company was an early adopter of BMFL luminaires, purchasing 32 units in October 2014 from Robe’s Australian and New Zealand distributor, the ULA Group. Simon comments that the entire buying experience – which also included a visit from Robe CEO Josef Valchar – was “Excellent”.

“They are great workhorse fixture” states Simon. ‘All the features are very good, they have been used constantly since we bought them … and the lamps even at 750 hours look great!”

He adds that for most of their music based shows, having brighter fixtures is essential to contend with – often – a large amount of LED screen onstage. “We need BIG lights and good control … BMFL hits the spot!”

Taking about Robe generally, he thinks the brand is “Kicking arse” right now in the world of entertainment industry moving and LED lighting, and is looking forward to seeing what’s coming up next from the Czech Republic.

Robe New Zealand Fashion Week 2015 1650_11395[1]


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