If you’ve enjoyed this year’s Singapore Fashion Week, here’s a name you should know: Jeremy Tan. The 34-year-old was tasked with producing and choreographing some of the biggest shows that lined this year’s calendar. Now that the dust has settled on the festivities at the Tent@Orchard, we speak to the unsung hero about his contribution to the shows and some of the strange occurrences backstage…

How did you get your foot into the industry?

I was with another production and events company called StyleFactory, which was run by my mentor, Hideki. That was 15 years ago. I worked backstage as a dresser, runner, backstage manager… the list goes on! I was then tasked to handle some small roadshows and fashion shows and I started from there.

What shows did you work on for this year’s fashion week?

I handled the Fashion Futures shows for Dzojchen, Elohim and Ong Shunmungam. I also did the Tex Saverio for Love, Bonito show, as well as the debut presentation of COLLATE The Label. I was very lucky to work on the opening show by Diane von Furstenberg plus Victoria Beckham’s closing act. And to top it off, I was involved as the technical director, planning and executing this year’s fashion week. I teamed up with my colleague, Jerome Awasthi, for some of his shows too.

Diane von Furstenberg fall 2015

How long does it take to put together a show?

There are some shows that involve months of preparations, while others are pulled off in a matter of weeks. It depends on the time frame we have. The process is pretty structured. We’ll go through the concept of the show, work out the production details and designs of the sets, casting and fitting the models in the clothes, and then finally putting the preparation into reality with the set-up of the show. That’s a lot – and we’re not even through with all the finer details!

What are some weird things that happened backstage?

I don’t even know where to start! We have items go missing on us, models who disappear for no good reason, people sneaking into the restricted backstage area… the list goes on!

SFW Day2 LR-2710
Dzojchen cruise 2016

What’s the most nerve-wrecking part of the show?

They’re usually the things that we can’t control. Sudden technical glitches, human error, nature’s forces such as rain… these can’t be helped. I always say a silent prayer before the start of each show.

What are the qualities every show choreographer need?

There are some that are essential. I believe the ability to focus and to communicate your ideas effectively to everyone involved helps. The person must be able to stay calm under immense pressure and be quick-thinking as problems must be solved as soon as they surface.