Fashion Week: The New Norm

That time of year when thousands of models, photographers, and celebrities descend upon city streets for Fashion Week has now come to a close. 

As guests anxiously waited to view their favorite designers’ latest collections, the design and production teams worked tirelessly behind the scenes to create the perfect vision to showcase the apparel. Rodarte and Thom Browne were some of the most anticipated collections to see in New York; while Schiaparelli and Avellano were first on the Paris itinerary for many. Let’s take a look at some of the most buzz worthy Fashion week shows of this season.

But first a short education: Traditionally there are two types of events that take place at Fashion Week: presentations and runway shows. Presentations allow the audience to see each model up close for a greater amount of time. This gives the audience an opportunity to direct  their attention at the minute details in the garments, accessories, hair, and makeup. Having this intimate interaction with the collection offers photographers and guests an opportunity to capture better photos and the smallest details. 

Thom Browne’s show had the best of both worlds with a mix between a runway show and a presentation. Located at The Shed, a theater space in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, the show was centered around a large white airplane stuck in sand. Browne’s vision was inspired by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s, The Little Prince. “I was really inspired by how The Little Prince tells the story about how kids understand everything and see things more clearly than adults do,” Browne told Vanity Fair immediately following the presentation. Many of the guests reported that this was one of the most memorable shows they went to because of the deep connections to feelings of loneliness and determination as well as the eye-catching design and impeccable tailoring of each piece in the collection.

The audience was star studded to say the least. Penn Badgley, the star of Netflix’s “You”, was spotted supporting Browne during his show. Badgley is a longtime fan and supporter of the designer and has been seen wearing Browne’s clothing since he first broke out on the show Gossip Girl in 2007. Other stars including Lili Nas X, David Harbour, Rebecca Hall, and Morgan Spector were in attendance as well.

Another positive aspect of presentations is that each guest feels like they are sitting front row at the show. As London-based editorial director Olivia Singer states, “A presentation means that a designer and their team can literally be on hand to answer questions one-to-one, rather than closing the backstage entrance post-show in exhaustion, or only engage in the strange ‘group interviews’ that seem to have become the norm.”

However, this also means that the designer and their team have to be on best behavior in the “front stage” because everything is on display. There is no “backstage” behavior like there is at a runway show. Additionally, the models are standing for 2 plus hours during a presentation, which often causes them to tire out and their hair and makeup to lose its freshness.

Now let’s talk runway shows. Runway shows are historically much shorter in duration than presentations. They tend to be a bit more extravagant as they mesmerize the audience and cause a great deal of pre-show anticipation. Runway shows have a designated seating chart, with front row center seats going to the top-tier attendees, which makes these style shows more exclusive.

For example, Noah Cyrus sat front row at the Avellano show in Paris wearing an original midnight blue-hue latex maxi dress design, complete with a turtleneck, long sleeves, and a mermaid silhouette that swept the floor. Many times celebrities are dressed in the clothes of the designer they’re there to see, and are seated front row as a way to generate even more buzz. 

The downside of showing a collection via runway is timing. In most cases models are on the runway for about 30 seconds before returning backstage.This makes it difficult for the guests to capture every design element of the garment as well as the accessories, hair, and makeup. However all of the models usually walk the runway for a second time to close out the show, giving guests the opportunity to see the collection a final time. 

As mentioned above, the guests who attend a runway show can greatly impact the press and buzz around a collection, so it’s important to take into account when creating an event for fashion week.  Whichever type of event a designer chooses, there will always be people knocking down the door to obtain an invite to be one of the few to see a new collection firsthand. 

In addition to the traditional runway show or presentation for Fashion week, designers have started stirring up buzz around their collections using new and creative approaches. Recently, designers have been incorporating unconventional stunts into their shows to make a statement and stand out amongst the many other designers.

A perfect example of this took place at Copenhagen Fashion Week where the (Di)vision show’s final model left the table she was sharing with guests and dragged the entire tablecloth with her. The table was covered with plates, oysters, cigarette butts, and white invitation cards with wine glass stains. This stunt went viral on social media after (Di)vision posted the video with the caption “What are you bringing to the table? I am the table.”

Unconventional stunts like this one are a risky move because you don’t know how the audience will perceive them. You never want these stunts to take away from the collection, and only want them to enhance the experience. 

Both runway shows and presentations have their own unique benefits and challenges, and designers must carefully consider which approach best suits their visions and objectives. Ultimately, the goal remains the same: to showcase the designer’s artistic expression and define the fashion trends for the upcoming season. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 22nd, 2023 at 11:36 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.


Subscribe via RSS | Comments (RSS)

Or, subscribe via email: