The majestic Great Wall of China
When: November 2007
Why build a lavish set when you have the world’s most monumental sight, waiting right there? That’s surely what master showman Karl Lagerfeld was thinking during his reign as Fendi creative director. In 2007, he curated this gasp-worthy ten-minute extravaganza on the Great Wall of China (OMG!). The show cost a staggering US$10 million to produce, with (lucky number) 88 models parading down the runway off the Juyongguan Pass, showcasing pieces from an exclusive mini collection and the SS2008 catalogue against the 2,000 year old backdrop at sunset. One of the greatest shows in fashion history, definitely.
The action-packed car chase
Who: Philipp Plein
When: June 2015
Explosions! Wrecks of uber-flashy vehicles! Hot clothes! For its SS16 menswear show, Philipp Plein produced an action movie/catwalk love child, grabbing the world’s attention in the process. It featured a tangle of wrecked cars (including two Rolls-Royces) sprawled beneath the gold leaf glow of the Fondazione Prada, revving angry motorbikes and BMWs (gold-sprayed, naturally) speeding around on two wheels being chased by a NYC police car. There were flames, high-octane fumes and even rapping, when American hip-hop artist Tyga emerged. And this was just the opening.
The mysterious ring of fire
Who: Roberto Cavalli
When: February 2014
More flames! Yes, it’s a surefire way to make a spectacle. But for Cavalli’s AW14/15 womenswear show during Milan Fashion Week, it was more about mystery. Set in a giant tented space, this show centred around a cyclical runway and a pool of water ensconced in flames – yes, very eerie and mystical. Long-legged beauties marched to the beat of the music, draped in furs and python prints. The clothes were hot, as were the onlookers. And the show was typical Cavalli with full on drama.
The chic supermarket
When: March 2014
Kitsch, sexy and oh-so perfect, Chanel’s AW14/15 ready-to-wear show transformed the mundane to the exhilarating. A new season Chanel show has long been one of the most anticipated events in the fashion calendar, and here, Karl Lagerfeld turned the impressive show-space at the Grand Palais into a supermarket popping with bright OTT colours. Trolleys, shopping baskets and PA announcements played to the atmosphere while models ‘shopped’ amongst a hundred thousand Chanel branded goodies that filled the shelves. Supermarkets will never be boring again.