As a lover of scenic art and theatrical elements, runway sets are one of my favorite aspects of fashion month. The dynamic of the show can be completely changed by the atmosphere the models are placed in. Designers put copious amounts of time and money into these runway designs, so they deserve a little recognition. Pattern delves into the catwalks of fashion month to show you some of the coolest stages of the season.
The Chanel Shopping Center
Good ole’ Karl “the Kaiser” Lagerfeld has done it again, this time with one of his most ambitious stages to date. Yellow and red lines zigzag through a true super marché, leading models down the aisles stocked with colorful Chanel brand eats. Cara Delevingne, of course, leads the way, adorned in the holy Chanel tweed, er, we mean holey. It’s an odd juxtaposition — an everyday errand run by all walks of life, strutted by gorgeous models in tattered luxury wear. Perhaps Karl is making a point on consumerism, or maybe he just likes a little irony here and there. But according to the designer, he likes fashion to be part of daily life. And let’s get real; Karl can get away with anything.
Iris Van Herpen’s Biopiracy
Iris Van Herpen’s take on consumerism has a much more ominous undertone. Models are vacuum-sealed on stage, surrounded by what we hope are breathing tubes. The show, titled “Biopiracy,” feels like the end of the world, and perhaps an eerie glimpse into our future as Iris’ runway reacts to the recent purchase of the patent on human genes. Her line flirts with the future of fashion, integrating architectural elements, 3D printing and technological textiles, projecting her forward in design. She’s got fresh fashion and fresh models.
Dolce & Gabbana’s Enchanted Sicily
As soon as the first notes of Tchaikovsky chimed and a twirling tree arose from purple fog, we knew things were about to get magical at Dolce & Gabbana’s fall 2014 show. While the set is rather simple compared to those of previous designers mentioned, the most lovable aspect of the show is how the theme wove into the designs. We see woodland creatures, flowing florals, keys to hidden treasures and jewel encrusted gauntlets. It’s truly an enchanted line, breaking from their usual heavily Sicilian influences and leaning more toward the “once upon a time”. The show ends with a parade of models as knights in shimmering armor, sweeping you off your feet as if the rest of the show hadn’t already.
Philipp Plein Noir Cowboy
If you like a show that makes your face melt, look no further than Philipp Plein. His runway, which by Naomi Campbell graces by both opening and closing the show, is the setup of a true Dallas gas station, El Camino Classic and all. Rita Ora performs her song “Facemelt,” introducing the show and adding a dash of foreshadowing. Models strut down the runway in cowgirl garb with a rushing road projected in the background, when suddenly the El Camino explodes and sparks fly from the neon gas station sign. Naomi maintains her composure and eyebrows despite the flames and it’s all “Kumbaya” and “Home on the Range” from there.