The world's most memorable fashion shows
From Christian Dior’s haute couture spring/summer 1998 collection to the Yves Saint Laurent show in July 1998, here are some of the most revolutionary shows that made fashion history.
Dior haute couture spring/summer 1998
Gibraltarian-Spanish fashion designer John Galliano’s lavish Christian Dior debut collection presented at the Opera Garnier in Paris was inspired by French fashion designer Paul Poiret. The collection included cult models such as the 'Scheherazade' dress, reminiscent of the dresses depicted in artist Gustav Klimt’s paintings. It featured various shades of orange-golden velvet, blue and jade appliqués and embroidery with gold and precious stones.
'Thamar', meanwhile, is an evening long fitted dress in double georgette crepe, decorated with geometric patches embroidered with yellow, blue and orange metallic threads, and 'Metatarse' is an evening gown made of gold brocade, fully embroidered in an oriental style with patterns in the form of curls, stars, crescents and butterflies, made using lace, beads, rhinestones, pendants and gold.
Alexander McQueen spring/summer 2004
Running a dance marathon instead of the usual Alexander Mcqueen outfit show was a stunt only McQueen could pull off. The fulcrum for the fashion genius was Sidney Pollack’s 1969 film 'Hunted Horses Get Shot, Don’t They?' Along with the models, professional actors also took part in the show.
The show embodied the dance competition of the Great Depression when young people danced uncontrollably until they dropped in order to forget about their problems and lack of prospects. At the end of the marathon, model Karen Elson fainted from a dizzying dance (according to the script). To a storm of applause from the audience, McQueen carried her off the stage himself. It was possible to recreate that era on the podium after two weeks of hard training in a 19th-century Parisian dance hall under the guidance of Scottish choreographer Michael Clarke.
Chanel spring/summer 2012
The collection was dominated by green and silver shades, as well as fashionable cream tones. Feminine dresses and suits are richly decorated with pearls, chains and cameos traditional for the fashion house. Special mention deserves, however, a line of swimsuits — laconic, but chic, as well as accessories. A feminine floral pattern was also a highlight, which, by and large, never goes out of fashion anyway. At that time it adorned exquisite dresses made of thin multi-layered chiffon.
The Versace fall-winter 1999-2000 show
Gianni Versace’s fall-winter 1991-1992 collection was quite revolutionary. In the 90s, Versace created the supermodel and especially for this show, he featured striking supermodels and started a trend: he broke with the stop hiding models’ faces on the catwalk and instead, made them the focus of the whole show.
Donatella Versace, who succeeded her brother when he was murdered in 1997, continued her brother’s legacy, emphasising sexuality, femininity and grace. In 2018, she paid tribute to this iconic show and welcomed the 1991 catwalk models, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, and Helena Christensen, among others, to close the show.
The Yves Saint Laurent show on July 12, 1998
Before the final match between France and Brazil in 1998, a grandiose retrospective show of Yves Saint Laurent took place at the Stade de France. Models came out wearing clothes that Yves Saint Laurent created over the 40 years of the brand’s existence — from strict suits and dresses to the most experimental designs.
For more fashion inspiration, read all about the highlights of Paris Fashion Week SS23.