Lunar Gala 2018: FEROX
Creative Direction / Identity / Event Production / Advertising
Lunar Gala is one of the largest fashion events in Pittsburgh, having sold out over 1200 seats each year with 140+ students involved in producing, designing, modeling, and dancing in the show. Students across all majors and cultures create original and creative lines, infusing technology and complex materials with wearable fashion.
I was the LG 2018 Creative Director, leading a team of Print, Motion, Web, Brand, and Experience designers. The entire Creative team is about 17 designers. I created the concept behind FEROX, strategized the advertising techniques, and directed the creation of our deliverables through 3 key phases: Day of Show, Advertising, and Recruitment.
This was a 10 month project.
Following the show in February 2018, our work has also been displayed in the Carnegie Museum of Art's theatre space for a Third Thursday event.
Enter the world of FEROX:
Ferox is primal. Ferox is chaotic. Ferox is a return to instinct. Embodied by the human species, Ferox represents a blind and reckless freedom that must be contained for the sake of maintaining the civility we all value and from which we all benefit. Ultimately... Ferox must be quelled.
It's an experiential future, in the form of a fashion show.
Watch the entire show HERE.
Read the review HERE.
The Lunar Gala: an intergalactic celebration of the yearly contributions of the Interplanetary Federation for Peace and Protection. The year is 2268, and, on this 250th anniversary of the planet Earth’s quarantine, we present Ferox, a public demonstration of the hostility of the Earth’s previously dominant species, the homosapien. We invite Federation sponsors and visitors to observe, for the first time, the savagery we have successfully contained. Infused with Federation principles, the previously dangerous human race is now docile - an allegory for the potential of the IFPP to mollify threatening agents intergalactically. Come celebrate with us! And, in the process, bear witness to a species, that, prior to this event, has been contained for centuries
Day of Show Sneak Peek
Entrance Experience: Wristbands and Passes
Entrance Experience: General + Preferred Tickets
Entrance Experience: VIP Tickets
Models and Line Videos
Narrative Videos Throughout the Show
Videos shown throughout the show connected the lines and dances into a cohesive story revolving around the theme.
LG FEROX Advertising
Sneak Peeks of FEROX
Visuals leaked from December 31st to the theme release in January. The "Through the Years" video was also used to promote the new Timeline feature on the Lunar Gala Website.
FEROX Theme Release
Website created by the Web team. Check it out HERE.
Social Media Presence for LG Members
Sneak Peek: The "Federation"
LG Recruitment Advertising
We created gifs that we published to promote auditions and information sessions on campus. We also used it to demonstrate the success in having the most sign-ups for LG to date.
The Lunar Gala Website and New Timeline Feature
This year, we created a new Timeline feature for the website so that people can look past on 21+ years of LG and see the way that the production has immensely grown to be what it is today. Check out the website HERE.
Rethinking the Creative Team Structure
In May of 2017, I restructured the timeline, deliverables, hierarchy, and coordination of the team.
I helped the producers select who would join the Creative team. We had 17+ design students enter Creative, and I separated them into groups based off of what I knew their interests to be: Brand, Experience, Print, Motion, or Web. In the past, each group would work in only quick, random spurts and create independently of each other, but I was interested in changing that so that we could form more of a collaboration across specialities and ages.
I worked with just the producers to create a new system diagram of the structure of the Board through drawing on our past experiences as members of LG. I created a flow from Brand and Experience to Web, Print, and Motion. The reason I did this is that in the past there was a problem where Print, Web, and Motion didn't know who was supposed to be creating the brand. I realized that first the brand concept had to be created. Experience would determine what deliverables we would need to shape the best campaigns. Then, Print, Web, and Motion helped to visualize how the brand would take form.
We met at least weekly for 10 months straight, which was a huge change from how Creative ran prior to this year. I knew this would be difficult since 17 is such a large group of people. But, I found that it allowed for better coordination, since it created communication and critique across the sub-teams. In the past, Print, Web, and Motion teams would work independently of each other. But working all together, we were able to work effectively as a huge design team, meeting on an almost weekly basis, creating a cohesive brand language that works across different media. I am proud that I was able to maintain interest and passion within the team for 10 months, and coordinate the production of the show’s recruitment, advertising, and day-of-show visuals and experience.
The Year of the Dog: Brainstorming Session
At our very first meeting, we began brainstorming about what the theme would be. Each year, it is inspired by a quality of the year's animal of the Chinese New Year. This year was the dog. After writing down qualities, the one that stood out was "Instinctual."
Creative Team's Budgeting + Sponsorship
I helped budget with the Producers regarding the Creative Team's budget. The entire show cost upward of $40,000 this year.
I also helped the PR team to format a proposal that would be sent to different organizations in the Pittsburgh area. I also independently drafted proposals around campus for funding of the Creative Team.
Planning the Year's Deliverables and Timeline
This year, we spent a lot of extra time strategizing what our Print, Motion, Web deliverables would be. I also considered how much bandwidth I thought each team would have so that I could assign them the right amount of work to be doing at one given time.
Additionally, throughout the year, I would release the deliverables in three different phases that I determined, so that it wouldn't feel like too much work when it was announced.
The three phases were: Recruitment (May-August), Advertising (September-December), and Day-of-Show (December to February).
Building the Ferox Brand
Working with the brand designer, we came up with the word, "Ferox," latin for savage. We were interested in what that would look like in a digital future, rather than in like a jungle, how it might typically be visually interpreted.
Branding First Pass
To get the Print, Web, and Motion team started, we showed some initial sketches of how Ferox could look, and set constraints on color.
Branding Second Pass
After Print, Web, and Motion played around with assets for a month, we created a final Brand Guideline showing the visual concept and constraints for the Creative team.
Call for Lines
I did not get to pick the lines of the show. However, we did run line selection a little bit differently this year. Without telling applicants what the theme was, we asked them to identify their line as fitting: Wild, Defiant, Bold, Tame, Oppressed, or Chaotic. That way, we would be able to work their lines into a cohesive narrative from knowing about the concepts, even though the outfits hadn't been built yet.
The Producers also started the "Local Designer Initiative" to invite local designers to participate in the show. I helped them promote this as well.
Creating a Narrative Out of the Lines
Once the Design team had chosen their lines, I tried to connect them by breaking them into 4 distinct parts, that would later be separated into two acts. Our copywriter then helped build a world of FEROX out of the story, involving the "Interplanetary Federation for Peace and Protection" and a fake backstory for "Lunar Gala" in the year of 2268.
Planning of Wiegand Space
Creative's Experience team worked with the Production team to figure out how the theme would manifest in the space, and how guests would move throughout the environment. This also meant determining wayfinding and signage.
Day of Show Crew
To prevent the Creative Team from having to do too much work on day of show, we introduced the Day of Show Crew concept, lead by the Experience team. With a group of 29 CMU-affiliated and non-CMU-affiliated people, we assigned roles and tasks for the entrance line to Wiegand, VIP lounge, and Intermission experiences.
Day of Show Setup
On day of show, we finished setting up Wiegand. I helped the Print team fold and place their magazines and helped the Experience team to set up the spaces outside of Wiegand. Production Team calibrated the screens and light, finishing set-up of the Tech elements of the show.