Fashion shows are an essential part of the fashion industry. Having evolved from private ‘défilés’ staged by the couture houses for their costumers to major events including the most breath-taking special effects, fashion shows are indispensable to narrate contemporary fashion history. From the most humble to the most sensational, they contribute to describe the fashion zeitgeist and to inscribe its protagonists in it.
Valentino couture show, a/w 1989, photo by Etienne Tordoir. Courtesy Catwalkpictures, all rights reserved.
Different elements concur in making fashion shows so important: from the choice of the location to the way models walk the runway, to the music that gives rythm to the catwalk and the people sitting on the front row, and finally the looks presented. As a result, fashion shows can be considered the point where much of the efforts of all the professionals involved in the design process converge, and more than a vehicle, sometimes they are the actual concretization of the holistic vision of the designer or creative director, showing his or her research and work, in an ephemerals but still memorable way.
Dries Van Noten, a/w 1997, photo by Etienne Tordoir. Courtesy Catwalkpictures, all rights reserved.
This month, on the Europeana Fashion Tumblr we aim to highlight these ephemeral events through the pictures that captured them. Jumping from the past to the present and back again, we will try to illustrate the different forms these shows have taken, to revive and discover the history fashion thorugh the images of its enactment.