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We have brought together the most iconic fashion shows in history of fashion for you.
The fashion shows, which are far beyond being the platforms where the new season clothes are exhibited, actually present a big show as a ritual and tell a story to the audience. If they tell these stories well, those 10-minute shows become unforgettable and they are engraved in both archives and fashionistas’ memories with golden letters. As can be seen in the period we are in, the show always continues even though the platforms change. Although the fashion marathon, which started with New York Fashion Week, will be held mostly on digital platforms this year, this does not kill our excitement; rather, it makes one wonder how fashion houses will use technology and their imaginations to distinguish themselves from the herd. Until you find the answer to this question, how about taking a look at the most iconic fashion shows in fashion history?
Most Iconic Fashion Shows of All Time
Versace – Fall/Winter 1991
Gianni Versace made a revolution in the fashion world with his Autumn/Winter 1991 collection and transformed the fashion shows where new season clothes were exhibited into eagerly awaited theatrical shows. Other iconic names such as Karl Kagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano followed… So what did Versace do? The fashion show, which took place on a marble podium in one of Milan’s famous shopping areas, brought together one of the most famous songs of the period, George Michael’s Freedom, with the most famous supermodels of the same period. Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and many more… Versace started a new era in fashion history with this fashion show! While the images from the fashion show are still frequently seen on social media, their effects are not erased from the sector.
Thierry Mugler – Couture Fall/Winter 1995
Known for his futuristic designs and sharp forms, French designer Thierry Mugler was a showman when it came to fashion shows. Deciding to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his brand on the podium, Mugler signed one of the most iconic fashion shows of the 90s. In the night where master musician James Brown performed an unforgettable performance; Legends such as Jerry Hall, Carmen Dell’Orefice and Veruschka accompanied the brightest names of the period such as Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Eva Herzigova on the podium. At the fashion show held at Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, 300 looks were introduced, which continue to inspire many names from Beyonce to Cardi B even today. Unforgettable shots remained from the fashion show, which turned into an hour-long celebration with the participation of friends and family members. One of the most extraordinary moments occurred when Nadja Auermann took off her oversized coat and transformed into a bionic robot.
Dior – Spring/Summer 1998
One of the most iconic buildings in Paris, Opera Garnier, Monsieur Dior’s sophisticated spirit permeating every corner of his brand, and the genius of fashion’s rebellious boy John Galliano, combine what happens? Let’s say it: A visual feast that cannot be deleted from memories and archives! The Spring/Summer 1998 fashion show, which Galliano held shortly after he assumed the creative directorship of Dior, presented such a feast to the audience. The paper butterflies floating on the models created a poetic effect in the fashion show that ended on the marble steps of Opera Garnier. The fashion show, where designs inspired by the eccentric Marchesa Caseti were exhibited, brought together Dior’s “New Look” and Galliano’s rebellious spirit.
Alexander McQueen – Spring/Summer 1999
One of the most extraordinary designers of all time, Alexander McQueen’s fashion shows were as extraordinary, creative, inspiring and iconic as he was. One of the most striking among these fashion shows was the Spring/Summer 1999 collection, which fully revealed the genius of the designer. You ask why? Because at the runway, two big white robots accompanied the models. The most memorable moment of the fashion show was the finale, where Alexander McQueen gave an art lesson through robots. Although everything seemed normal when Shalom Harlow, one of the famous models of the period, took the podium in her white dress, things changed when Harlow stepped onto a rotating platform. The robots, which had been motionless until then, came to life and began spraying Harlow’s all-white dress with black and yellow spray paint. The model’s face, the choreography, the chosen music… Everything was designed to make this iconic moment even more perfect.
Chalayan – Fall/Winter 2000
Known for pushing the boundaries, Hussein Chalayan once again made his mark in fashion history with golden letters with the fashion show of the Fall/Winter 2000 collection that will be remembered by the audience. The creative genius and storytelling talent of the famous designer, whose technical superiority is indisputable, was proven once again with this fashion show. How Does? By turning furniture into clothes… At that very moment, on the podium! Chairs turned into coats and coffee tables turned into dresses before the eyes of the guests. Known for its unique style, where futurism and minimalism meet in a sophisticated balance, this fashion show of Chalayan is considered one of the unforgettable fashion events of the 90s.
Pierre Cardin – Spring/Summer 2008
Iconic French designer Pierre Cardin literally flew the guests to the other side of the world for the display of his Spring/Summer 2008 collection. Among the inspirations of Pierre Cardin, who organized a fashion show in the city of Dunhuang, located in the Gansu region of northwest China, was of course none other than the traveler Marco Polo, who built a bridge between east and west. While 200 designs were included in the Whistling Sand Mountain fashion show, which took place in the desert, the final wedding dress design was carried by a model on a camel. The collection inspired by the exotic location of the fashion show, which took place very close to the famous Silk Road; Venice was divided into three as Silk Road and Zanadu and symbolized the link between east and west.
Fendi – Great Wall of China Fashion Show
When it comes to Karl Lagerfeld, dreams and reality knew no bounds! This fashion show, which emerged as a result of a 12-month study, proved this by turning the Great Wall of China into a real podium. Very special names such as Kate Bosworth and Thandie Newton from all over the world were invited as guests for the fashion show, which took place in a 2.4-kilometer-long section of this iconic building. As you can imagine, while a special collection was being prepared for the fashion show, which was the first in history, designs from the brand’s Spring/Summer 2008 collection took place on the podium. The fashion show, which took place in the years when China started to consolidate its place on the luxury map, became an inspiration to those who followed it, even though it emerged after a very difficult process especially due to bureaucratic reasons. Just one year after Fendi’s fashion show, Hermes also held his first fashion show here.
Chanel – Fall/Winter 2014
On the morning of March 4, 2014, Karl Lagerfeld took the fashion and entertainment world’s most famous names to an unexpected place… To the supermarket! Karl Lagerfeld, who transformed the Grand Palais in Paris from a train station to a space station over the years, made his sense of humor and creative intelligence speak for Chanel’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection. After all, who else would have thought of presenting the world’s most expensive designs to fashion lovers in a supermarket? Star names such as Rihanna, Keira Knightley and Melanie Griffith were among the guests of the fashion show, where Chanel brand food and beverages accompanied the models. The photos of the guests posing in the corridors of the Chanel Supermarket decorated their social media accounts for days.
Louis Vuitton – Spring/Summer 2014
Although it was announced hours after the Spring/Summer 2014 Collection fashion show that Marc Jacobs would be leaving Louis Vuitton, the guests who were there that day understood this the moment the show started. Because the set of the fashion show bore traces of all the magical worlds that Marc Jacobs, one of the geniuses of the fashion world, has created for Louis Vuitton. The famous waterfall, the iconic train station, the much talked about escalators… It was as if they were all paying homage to Marc Jacobs’ great farewell! The black color that dominated the environment made this farewell even more sad. The fashion show, in which the famous designer took the guests on a nostalgic tour, symbolized the end of an era for both himself and the fashion house, and even resembled the funeral of an ending era.
Valentino – Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2019
There is no one who does not see the images of the famous artist Celine Dion watching a fashion show in tears and applauding her hands in the finale. Here is the fashion show in question, this fashion show! Pierpaolo Piccioli, who was the creative director of Valentino for many years with Marie Grazia Chiuri, is also considered to be the fashion show where he found himself after Chiuiri’s separation. The fashion show, inspired by the iconic frame photographed by legendary photographer Cecil Beaton, in the designs of designer Charles James, one of whose models is another legendary; it was almost like a poem written on beauty, elegance and originality. Supermodels such as Adut Akech, Liya Kebede and Naomi Campbell made a splash in the fashion show, where they walked the runway. So much so that Instagram has even prepared a special filter for it.
Jacquemus – Spring/Summer 2020
We guess that there is no one who has not seen the Menswear Spring/Summer 2020 fashion show, in which Simon Porte Jacquemus celebrated the 10th anniversary of his brand. The fashion show, which took place on the fuchsia runway in the middle of the famous lavender fields in southern France, was undoubtedly one of the most iconic fashion events of the 2000s. Famous painter David Hockney was among the inspirations of the fashion show, which is still frequently shared on social media and made many references. Returning to her roots, the Southern France, where she was born and raised, to celebrate her 10 years, the designer did something very rare for this cause and chose not to be on the Paris Fashion Week official calendar so as not to miss the lavender season. This bold move definitely paid off!
Mary Katrantzou – Spring/Summer 2020
London-based Greek designer Mary Katrantzou is literally back to her roots for her Spring/Summer 2020 Collection! The fashion show, which took place in the Temple of Poseidon, one of the most important Ancient Greek Temples in the world, presented a fairy tale to the audience. The Temple of Poseidon, located in the city of Sounion on the Attica peninsula, dates back to BC. It is estimated that it was built in the 440s. The magnificent sea view that surrounds the temple on 3 sides increases the splendor of the Temple of Poseidon. At the fashion show held in this magnificent location, 36 looks were introduced to the guests by models in the form of goddesses. Each of the pieces made reference to a different couture technique and a philosophical idea born in Ancient Greek Civilization. While the designs were complex and flamboyant, the Ancient Greek sandals worn by the models gave the entire collection an accessible feel.
Featured store: FARFETCH
Farfetch exists for the love of fashion. They believe in empowering individuality. Their mission is to be the global technology platform for luxury fashion, connecting creators, curators and consumers. Visit FARFETCH website today to explore more!