Each year, fashion shows get bigger, better, more extreme and more over-the top. With Fashion Week guests attending several fashion shows per day designers are doing everything in their power to make sure that their collection is the one to remember.
Gone are the days where models would walk down a plain and simple catwalk, now you’ve got huge, theatrical sets that are bursting with imagination and creativity – it’s almost too difficult to choose a favorite.
So we’ve rounded up six of the most extravagant fashion shows you have to see to believe!
Fendi, Autumn/Winter 2007 Ready-to-Wear
Does it get more extreme than hosting a fashion show on the Great Wall of China in Beijing? We don’t think so?! For Fendi’s Aumumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear 2007 show the fashion house took over part of the Great Wall of China, the iconic 2,000-year-old world heritage site, that’s over 4,500 miles long and can be seen from space – no big deal really. Karl Lagerfeld was the genius behind this incredible show, as he was also Creative Director at Fendi for 52 years. It cost over $10million dollars to produce and took over a year to plan, and faced numerous delays from Chinese officials but eventually got the go ahead! The show took place at sunset and a section of the wall at the Juyongguan Pass was transformed into an extended runway raised off the ground, accompanied by incredible views of the Guangou Valley. The show consisted of 88 looks, as the number eight represents prosperity, and once the last model walked her walk huge strobe lights were switched on to reveal giant double-F Fendi logos that were projected onto the mountains.
Chanel, Autumn/Winter 2014 Ready-to-Wear
French fashion house Chanel is no stranger to putting on an extravagant fashion show! As a brand they are renowned for their over-the-top, eccentric, stunning and spectacular shows but it was their Autumn/Winter Ready-to-Wear 2014 show that remains up there as one of the best. Karl Lagerfeld created his very own Chanel superstore. The shelves were stocked high with more than 100,000 items and the labels of at least 500 everyday products had been repackaged and labeled – there was even a hardware section that featured a chain saw with a real Chanel chain. The clothing even had supermarket elements to them, black vinyl pants were meant to look like trash bags, the jewelry looked like those edible sweetie necklaces that you wore when you were a child, the scrunched up metallic embroideries resembled discarded candy wrappers and the famous Chanel quilted handbags were wrapped in cling film to look like pieces of meat from the butcher. It’s probably the chicest supermarket we’ve ever seen!
Coach, Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-to-Wear
September 2015 was a pretty exciting year for Coach as the American fashion brand hosted their first big runway show for New York Fashion Week for their Spring/Summer 2016 collection and what a picturesque show it was. Taking place in the West side of Manhattan on the beautiful green tracks of the High Line, Coach created their very own fashion garden. The mirrored catwalk made it look like the models were walking on a river flowing through wild flowers and pampas grass, and this set up perfectly matched the delicate floral prints of the clothing. The show has a free-spirited vibe to it and was a perfect celebration for the fashion houses 75th anniversary.
Dior, Autumn/Winter 2012 Haute Couture
Dior’s Autumn/Winter 2012 Couture Show was the grand debut of their new Creative Director, Belgian designer Raf Simons, and oh boy did he make it a show to remember. Simons decorated five grand rooms inside a Parisian mansion with one million real flowers. Each room was covered wall to wall in a stunning solid tapestry of flowers. The tapestry was a floral rainbow and included blue delphiniums, white orchids, pink peonies and a number of different colored roses – we bet the rooms smelt bloomin’ incredible! Simons decided on this floral number as he wanted to show how we was going to bring a fresh and modern approach to the French fashion house, as well as pay homage to Christian Dior’s ‘Flower Woman’ and show his passion for flowers and gardens. Haute Couture clothes are cut and stitched by hand, so the flower-decked walls were the perfect backdrop as we can only imagine all of the intricate handwork that went into creating the incredible floral tapestries.
Anya Hindmarch, Autumn/Winter 2013 Collection
Sometimes, fashion can be deadly serious, so we always appreciate it when designers have a bit of fun with their collections and that’s exactly what British designer Anya Hindmarch did with her Aumtum/Winter 2013 show! Entitled ‘Cascade’ Hindmarch put on a fun and colorful set made entirely out of dominoes, 50,000 of them. She enlisted the help of set designer Rachel Thomas and World Champion domino expert Robin Weijers to create a show stopping performance to remember. The domino set up took eight domino builders (yep that is a real job) five days to complete and incredibly they did it with zero rehearsals and only one chance to get it right – show day! And once show day arrived, with a flick of a switch the dominoes began to tumble down, pausing at certain points to reveal Hindmarch’s new handbags to the world. The collection took inspiration from the graphic motifs of board game designs and was met with ooh’s, ahh’s and a massive round of applause as the last domino fell.
Chanel, Autumn/Winter 2017, Ready-to-Wear
We had to include Chanel again on our list because no one does an extravagant, over-the-top fashion show quite like Chanel and their Autumn/Winter 2017 was quite literally out of this world! The show took place in the iconic Grand Palais, where Chanel created their very own makeshift space station, with a life-sized Chanel rocket ship stationed right in the middle of the runway. The collection itself was inspired by outer space and featured lots of metallic boots, spacesuit printed dresses, space shawls and galactic prints. And Chanel certainly didn’t disappoint with their finale – the huge rocket actually blasted off (not quite into space) but 10-metres into the air, with lots of smoke and Elton John’s ‘Rocket Man’ blaring in the background. Chanel boldly went where no fashion house has been before and we can’t wait to see what they have planned for their next show.