BY CASSANDRA LITTLEWOOD ONLINE CONTRIBUTOR
Going to a fashion show can easily be compared with going to an art gallery. You are seeing art, but the amazing part about fashion is that the art goes with you, hugs you and occasionally makes your eyes pop out of their sockets. But, fashion isn’t always just about the looks- more often, it’s a visual statement about the people wearing the clothes, and those behind their creation. The following shows exemplify how fashion can go beyond fabric. Okay, now for the most memorable fashion shows to ever take place, gird your loins! (I knew I wouldn’t make it through this article without at least one The Devil Wear Prada reference).
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999
Whenever I watch an Alexander McQueen show I feel a little disturbed. McQueen was the king of making people feel through his designs and the way he showcased them. In this Alexander McQueen show, model Shalom Harlow, emerged in a tulle white dress, cinched in at the top with a belt. The white tulle bellowed out in front of her as she started to spin in a circle on a platform. At her sides were two robots, designed to be used for spraying cars, readying to stain the pure white dress. When the robots sprayed her dress black, green and yellow, it gave the appearance that these robots were violating her. Needless to say, the concept proved just how Alexander McQueen was decades ahead of his time in combining technology and fashion seamlessly, and shockingly.
Image courtesy of Vogue
Zac Posen Fall/Winter 2016
Many critics claimed that the more laidback daywear proved that the usually dramatic designer could reach different varieties in fashion. Beyond the clothes, the models in the show were predominately women of colour. In an industry that lacks diversity, Posen went the opposite direction and opted for a more inclusive show. Any fashion show that pushes for change and equal representation is more then worthy on the memorable list.
Image courtesy of Vogue
Fendi Fall/Winter 2007
Karl Lagerfeld may be one of the most extravagant people fashion has ever come across. To get a sense of how extravagant, at his F/W ’07 fashion show he turned one of the most famous landmarks in the world into the world’s longest catwalk: the Great Wall of China. Like many of the shows on this list, Lagerfeld felt that fashion shows should not only exhibit beautifully designed clothes, but they should also be treated like captivating show business. The genius of the ancient Chinese civilization proved a beautiful fit for Lagerfeld’s creative genius.
Image courtesy of Hunger TV
Moncler Grenoble Fall/Winter 2011
So fashion happens literally everywhere in world (obviously, do you guys remember the fashionable monkey in a fur coat at an IKEA?) But what about fashion shows? Moncler decided to showcase their F/W 2011 line in the form of a flash mob, in the middle of Grand Central Station, during commuting hours. The whole concept was completely fun and theatrical, topped with the skier meets tweed look that was both incredibly sleek and also a ridiculous sight in Grand Central. Who said fashion can’t be fun?
Image courtesy of Moncler
Viktor and Rolf Couture Fall/Winter 2017
You may not see how diversity can take form in a doll but Viktor and Rolf do. The dolls are what Viktor and Rolf have deemed their mascots, who are advocating for a world that is more diverse. Particularly, the patchwork design that dots much of the clothes and dolls’ faces were to symbolize unity, one that should be more present in our reality. While the first part of the show took place with the doll heads on, the models later returned, without the pouty doll lips with their previous outfits opened up to showcase the quality of the clothes. (Big apology to those who are afraid of dolls and hate them in their entirety but the doll concept is so different and ~kewl~ we had to go there.)
Image courtesy of Getty
Chanel Fall/Winter 2014
Did Karl Lagerfeld ever show up to work without an incredible idea? Evidence would suggest not. In his 2014 collection workout wear was paired with long tweed coats and sneakers that perfectly fit into its setting, a grocery store. However normal the grocery store appeared this store seemed to be one that was of another reality. Models shopped around (occasionally shoplifting) while all the prices in the store were, 20, 50% more! While no one comes to Chanel for a bargain, in this case it was completely out of this world. Complete with the pop music you expect at a grocery, including, “SOS” by Rihanna, the grocery store for the rich and gorgeous made for the perfect place to showcase the Chanel collection.
Image courtesy of The Sartorialist
Christian Dior Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2005
Picture a creepy garden complete with foggy mist plaguing the ground, darkness, cobwebs and broken statues. John Galliano had a horse drawn carriage produce models clad in outfits that stemmed from Edwardian times to models seemingly impersonating Rita Hayworth. The show took the opportunity to visit history in a variety of past Dior looks that all evoked a mood of glamour while simultaneously staying with the creepiness of the setting. The ghosts of fashionable past were definitely out at this show.
Rodarte Couture Spring/Summer 2018
Kate and Laura Mulleavy created a world of romance in this show. While pastel colours, small gemstones and rose garden backdrop is the traditional route to romance, the element that drove everything home was baby’s breath. There was so much baby’s breath at this show that models were dragging bouquets more then half their size down the runway with them, while others had enormous crowns of the flower sitting upon their heads. We thought it had died out years ago, but Rodarte managed to bring the flower crown back- bigger and better than ever. What made this show even more interesting was how the clothes that are not usually considered romantic were presented so. Red and black leather outfits with large metal detailing was softened by the crimson roses in the garden backdrop. The hard leather and the softness of the flower complimented each other in the only way opposites attract can.
Image courtesy of Getty
Gucci Resort 2018
You know when you don’t really feel like doing a fashion show on a regular runway and instead you just feel like doing it at a palace in Florence right? Relatable, right? For his Resort collection, Alessandro Michele picked Palazzo Pitti to showcase a collection that oozed the Renaissance of the palace- down to the historical detailing and embellishment of the line. This collection exhibited three R’s: rock, roll and Renaissance. (It also played on all the counterfeit Gucci products by stamping many of the clothes with “GUCCY”- fashion can be so ironic at times.)
Image courtesy of Yannis Vlamos
Chanel Fall/Winter 2008
Okay, so Karl Lagerfeld again and again designs shows that are smart and over the top, you get, I get, the world gets it, but we’re going to discuss it one! More! Time! In this show, Lagerfeld designed a large carousel of giant bags, pearls and bows that models circled around and then climbed aboard. If there is one word for this collection it would be- classic. Every piece combined classic Chanel looks with current trends. The ever-turning carousel, viewers thought, alluded to how these fashion mega-houses countlessly turn classic designs out again and again without fail.
Image courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar