The concept of fashion shows emerged in the early 1900s and represented an exclusive event of a high fashion brand displaying its finest pieces through thin models walking down a catwalk. As we experience a drift in fashion towards social media, some might begin to question the importance of these fashion shows. In order to remain relevant and keep their audience engaged, brands have ensured that their fashion shows develop past the standard catwalk. We are going to dive into some of the most innovative ways brands have managed to do that.
Starting in the 1960s, brands started breaking away from the norm and carried out their shows in different settings and locations. In 1965, Balmain presented their new collection in a wine cellar. Exotic venues like this force the designer to adapt their vision, including the music, the seating, and the lighting. Those constant innovations are what keep drawing people to fashion shows. There is a certain excitement that is hidden in the constant metamorphosis of fashion shows.
A designer that is known for his exceptional and out-of-the-box fashion shows is Jacquemus. From lavender fields to Hawaii beaches, Jacquemus never fails to amuse us with his aesthetically stunning fashion shows. However, perhaps one of his most intriguing shows was the Fall 2020 show. The simplistic venue was paired with a beautiful capsule collection. The designer states that when making the collection, he thought of it like it is his last, leading him to create timeless and essential pieces. Furthermore, the clothes were displayed in a unique manner. Instead of the models showcasing the outfits in an organized catwalk, they were all walking across a large stage, in the center of the audience. This allowed the viewer to see, what the clothes would look like on someone just passing by on the street, making the connection between clothing and everyday living.
Another fashion house that is known for its futuristic fashion shows is Chanel. Every season, their clothes are presented in a completely different setting, whether it's a ski chalet, in front of a space rocket, or in a grocery store. This modern approach to fashion shows is a contrast to Chanel’s timeless aesthetic and their previous approach to fashion shows. The designers do a great job of linking the theme of the collection with where the show is set. Thus, connecting futuristic looks with a rocket ready to leave for space, chic winter looks in the snow by a chalet, and a more everyday, fun, and casual approach to fashion with their show placed in a grocery store set up.
This metamorphosis of fashion shows indicates that although it is still high fashion being displayed on the catwalk, designers are encouraging the viewer to implement that style into everyday life.
Lastly, a recent iconic moment in fashion was Coperni’s dress that was sprayed and molded onto Bella Hadid using liquid fibers. The brand Coperni innovates by merging fashion and science, which was perfectly demonstrated by this 10-minute stunt at their fashion show. A few designers sprayed liquid fabric onto the model as it formed a beautiful white slip dress (the slip was added as a final touch by the head designer). The elegant piece was made out of a multipurpose fabric that can be worn and washed like any other apparel. Instead of being sold, the dress is displayed in the Coperni showroom as an ode to this historical moment in fashion, which combines innovation with clothing, and revolutionized our idea of fashion shows.
Written by Zoya Solaja