The point in putting on an extremely expensive, glossy fashion show is to show clothing designs to potential buyers, but often, by watching the show, one might build an entirely different opinion on a collection to the one you would have had if you had just seen it in pictures.
That's because everything about the show (from the runway, the lighting, the audience layout to the music and the way the models walk) is controlled to emphasize the clothes, the concept, the ideas, therefore an awful collection could seem completely fabulous.
Recognizing this, what are some of the best shows you've seen?
I'm in love with Givenchy A/W 12-13 at the moment. It's incredibly dramatic, and really adds to the power of the clothes.
That particular Givenchy show is a prime example of how a well produced show can tie a runway presentation together and make it complete.
In my opinion, Hedi Slimane's shows at Dior Homme were always something to look forward to.
Fall/Winter 2006-07 is, by far, the one that stands out to me the most:
"It was dark and cold; it was hard to see except for the path lights strategically placed so that guests can come in at the Tennis Club de Paris, the venue for the Dior Home Fall 2006 catwalk show. Hedi Slimane was setting the stage for a dramatic yet minimalist show.
The runway was all black, and the stage was all black, too, except that when the music began, fire erupted on the floor and a lone pole, similar to the ones where witches were burnt ages and ages ago
And as always with Dior Homme shows, there is live music at the end. Eight Legs, a string trio composed and performed ĎThese Grey Daysí specifically for Dior Homme.
It was to the sound of their music that all the models took their bows, all of them wearing the same tuxedos. The applause was deafening as Hedi Slimane came out literally from the dark to be on the spotlight for a precious few seconds to accept the kudos that was rightfully earned." - fashionwindows.com
Big glossy productions do nothing for me unless they're really good I guess. I just get past that quite easily.. if the collection's awful and the production's looks like a billion dollars I actually can't help to get a bad impression from the designer when it comes to his priorities as an actual creator..
I can think of several Junya Watanabe and Yohji Yamamoto shows where the production was so solemn, perfect lighting, casting, music that the beauty of the clothes multiplied by a thousand in a matter of minute. Fashion orgasm you could call it!. I can think of so many of these particular two but the first time (being too young and all) when I realised it wasn't all about Galliano and bringing horses and an entire circus on stage and that you could have something so perfectly inspirational in its own quietness was during Yohji Yamamoto S/S 2002:
Then of course, all of McQueen's pre-2005 shows that created magical moments for almost every shown ensemble.
My ultimate favorite productions are probably Antonio Marras.. when he's at his most creative, he manages to create exactly the kind of dream-like atmosphere the clothes themselves emit..
It's a fine balance for me - I do love the show, but sometimes, like excessive styling, it can be a distraction. I think a well-produced show should explain the narrative and compliment the collection, but sometimes they need to remember it's a fashion show, and it can be a bit frustrating to see an average collection presented on a runway that looks like it is out of a Hollywood movie as you have to wonder if somewhere their priorities are wrong.
Have to say I really enjoy Burberry's shows, and have enjoyed a few Marc Jacobs ones before, too - was it A/W 10/11 where Marc unwrapped a box with all the models in? I loved that. Rodarte have done a few nice shows, too, and - rather surprisingly perhaps - I loved McQ last season with the leaves and the finale.
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Let's start off with Alexander McQueen cos we all know he owns this thread already. Obviously his older shows belong here but first that came to mind is one of his more recent ones. From the biblical references combined with the futuristic art direction, from the mirror prints ( that are still present on the runways) to the renowned claw shoes. This was an immaculate production on so many levels. He is missed...
An early century side-show with a diverse cast, amazing soundtrack and enough theatrics to make it a real show but not too many to distract from the clothes. One of my favourites ever from John, s/s 2006 John Galliano
The most inspiring productions for me have been ones that create those moments; you feel something, you get goosebumps, you sometimes even tear up. But they don't always have to be grand theatrics to get that reaction.
Some of my favourite McQueen/Gainsbury & Whiting shows would be Sarabande, Deliverance/They Shoot Horses Don't They, Widows of Culloden, It's Only a Game, and the more theatrical The Overlook and Voss.
Without a doubt, and forever the best fashion presentation remains Gaultier's S/S 1994. THhs was profound and trailblazing in its production: It wasn't some multi-million dollar empty spectacle like those of Chanel; it wasn't some pompous, exclusive artsy concept like those of early Chalayan; it wasn't a boring, bloated celebritiy-fest like Versace-- this show was revolutionary and visionary in its sincerity and simplicity in uniting people in the name of fashion. Gaultier was way ahead of his time by casting the supers, the girls of the moment, street people and cult celebrities and giving them all equal billing. And no need to remind everyone how genuinely inclusive Gaultier has always been by casting models of color and individuality, and culture, and his true love and passion of cultures. And I'm sure McQueen, Tischi and Galliano were all watching this show eagerly, as the styles, the productions, the attitudes and beauty Gaultier generously proposed here would end up being some of their own trademarks.
This is only part 1-- the show is over an hour. To be in that audience must of been a genuine fashion moment as the vibe looks magical and transcendent!