This fashion month so far has been all about change. Reflected in the clothes on the runway but also regarding the runway itself. Because models just walking up and down a straight line for mere seconds just doesn’t seem to be what it’s about anymore. It being the emotion, the feeling and atmosphere created through textiles, the message brought across with a collection. Although runway images still play an important role when it comes to selling the clothes to clients – there is just something nostalgic and luxurious about that established form of showing fashion – designers certainly seem to also look for alternative ways to capture their vision. From Claire Barrow to Baja East to MM6, we put together 5 fashion presentations redefining what it means to stage clothes.
After already announcing that she will no longer be part of the seasonal showings of collections in summer 2016, London based designer Claire Barrow now followed up on that withdrawal of her namesake brand from what is known as the classical fashion system. Instead of a normal fashion presentation she staged a multi-sensory art project called “Dancing With Dreams” that served as the frame to her clothes. Performers as well as sculptures were wearing Barrow’s mystical designs. In the process the creative not only channeled what we understand of a typical fashion show but also who the ideal model could be, in a world, entirely created by herself.
John Targon and Scott Studenberg of New York City label Baja East‘s clothes already felt like one big party most of the time. So it only made sense they threw an actual party to showcase their designs for Autumn / Winter 2017. Fringy dresses and shiny materials made you want to twirl around in the pieces for nights on end – and that’s exactly what fashion show slash party attendees did. Proving that the best way to make your clothes feel valid is to just put them into the environment you envisioned them in.
Phoebe English took us right into a mystical garden for her Autumn / Winter 2017 presentation. Leafs and plants were growing around the models who wore colour coordinated designs. Those felt dystopian yet intriguingly beautiful, staged in a chapel in London under the titel “Tyranny”. Moreover, the London based designer didn’t just show her clothes on models but created a character for each of them, inspired by different reactions to the social climate we’re facing and evident in the different coloured outfits. Green for hope, white for unity, gold for courage.
French-born and London-based Faustine Steinmetz is no stranger to doing mesmerizing presentations. This season, she decided to put her denim-focused and jeans-icon inspired designs in white boxes with descriptions of where they were first introduced and worn on the outside. Reconstructing and reimagining the original pieces with her characteristic dye techniques and embroidery, Steinmetz once again showed how convertible and current yet steeped in history her and our favourite material is.
Maison Margiela’s diffusion line may be more accessible than its high fashion counterpart but doesn’t lack a bit of its imaginative power. The label presented its Autumn / Winter 2017 collection in an environment resembling the actual process that goes into a garment – designing prints, cutting patterns, styling the piece – creating an abstract link to Martin Margiela’s original idea of showing the inner workings of clothes, deconstructing them and making their components visible. It’s no secret the showings of the collections are as much a part of a brand as the clothes itself, and with taking time and space to put your ideas in the right spotlight, you can not only make your ideas but also your identity that much more visible, these fashion presentations proved.