Cold lighting and the sound of static might intrigue the brilliantly twisted mind of Rei Kawakubo, but elsewhere designers laid out sensory feasts for this Spring 2014 season.
From psychedelic greenhouses and cascading waterfalls to a Pantone art gallery and gothic carousel, the runways from New York to Paris doubled as fairgrounds for the Instagram-savvy fingers of the designers’ front rows. Say what you will about the spectacle detracting from the clothing — it sure gave us something to sate our impatience with while waiting for the shows to start.
Scroll down to re-live some of Fashion Month’s most mind-blowing settings and scenes.
Marc Jacobs’ final Louis Vuitton spectacular was a funeral-themed farrago of his previous shows’ most memorable stage sets — a train clock, a fountain, an opulent hotel, a double escalator and a giant carousel upon which his macabre showgirls rode. It was one of those moments that made you say a silent prayer for the existence of Instagram video.
Dior Spring 2014
There were possibly more tweets devoted to the Dior setting than there were the actual clothes. Real greenery and a kaleidoscope of silk flowers hung from 3,000 square meters of scaffolding, the equivalent of three-quarters of an acre, in Raf Simmon’s toxic Alice in Wonderland hothouse.
Seeing how Karl Lagerfeld makes over the Grand Palais is one of the best parts about Paris Fashion Week. This time he whitewashed the walls and transformed it into an art gallery that in turn sung to the transformative power of fashion — though the actual sound was provided by Jay-Z’s ‘Picasso Baby’. Karl didn’t fashion the quilted sumo wrestler or the Chanel No. 5 robot with his own hands, but we actually wouldn’t be surprised if he had.
Always thinking outside of the box, this season Anya Hindmarch was thinking outside of this world. Her Spring 2014 runway was transformed into a planetarium by two overhead globes and hundreds of twinkling lights, and from above floated her equally extraordinary bags plus two catsuited aerialists. It apparently took six months to overcome the logistical challenges posed by the wiring and lighting.
Pool tiles, throbbing water-filled urns, wet-look hair and a cascading wall of water probably spelled fear for Kenzo’s perfectly coiffed front row, but it was wonderful to watch from the safety of Instagram. After last year’s amazing venue — the historic Paris department store La Samaritaine – Carol Lim and Humberto Leon did well to trump themselves.
Jacobs’ decadent post-apocalyptic runway saw his models stomping down a runway of glittering volcanic sand. Always a sucker for large props, the designer had also marooned oriental carpets, a pirate ship mast, a giant lifeguard chair and an old bus on his debris-strewn shores. He’d also cranked the heating up to a sweltering temperature that felt even less bearable in contrast to the torrential storms outside the venue.