Is it because of or in spite of their ephemerality that fashion show sets have such a strong hold on us? Either way, these elaborate stages, which are in part art installation, part-time travel, and teleportation device, are capable of transforming a simple catwalk into an extravagant event, transporting showgoers through space and time – and occasionally into otherworldly settings – through clever, and often elaborate, builds, and the smoke and mirrors that lighting and an outstanding playlist bring. Today, we’re showing off our pick for the top 10 fashion sets of all time. Which one is your favorite?
Alexander McQueen autumn/winter 2006
At Alexander McQueen’s autumn/winter 2006 presentation, a hologram in the shape of Kate Moss closed the show. It was a piece created by the video artist Baillie Walsh and art directed by McQueen himself.
John Galliano autumn/winter 2008
John Galliano’s extravagant autumn/winter 2008 show set featured a Buddha garden and Orientalist details.
Louis Vuitton spring/summer 2012
Marc Jacobs erected a carousel in Louvre’s Cour Carrée for Louis Vuitton’s spring/summer 2012 show.
Prada spring/summer 2014
Artists came together to collaborate with Miuccia Prada on a series of murals and illustrations that mused on themes of femininity, representation, power, and multiplicity. Inspired by the politically-charged murals of Diego Rivera, muralists including Gabriel Specter and Stinkfish and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet saw their work almost enveloping the audience.
Chanel spring/summer 2016
The Grand Palais was transformed into an airport terminal for Chanel’s spring/summer 2016 show, complete with Chanel Airlines counters and a departures board.
Givenchy spring/summer 2016
Givenchy’s spring/summer 2016 show at Pier 26 coincided with the 14th anniversary of 9/11, and took place in the shadow of the new One World Trade Center.
Tommy Hilfiger spring/summer 2017
For spring/summer 2017, Tommy Hilfiger created Tommyland in Los Angeles’s Venice Beach, complete with amusement park rides and food stalls.
Chanel autumn/winter 2017
For autumn/winter 2017, Karl Lagerfeld was off to space. Following on from the neat rocket illustration depicted on the invitations, the heart of the Grand Palais contained a giant shiny rocket.
Christian Dior spring/summer 2018
At Paris’s Musée Rodin, Maria Grazia Chiuri created a makeshift mirrored cave.
Burberry spring/summer 2018
For Christopher Bailey’s final presentation at Burberry, the show borrowed an epic light installation from the Museum of Old and New Art in Australia, complete with swinging pendulum spots and laser lights for the finale.
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