lifts curtain on catwalks

Immersive Vogue show lifts curtain on catwalks| 24

lifts curtain on catwalks

When the immersive London exhibition venue Lightroom announced The Moonwalkers, a high-budget production narrated by Tom Hanks charting the first landing on the lunar surface, the aim was to allow visitors to relive those historic small steps and the “giant leap for mankind”.

For the venue’s next project, the focus will be on historic steps of a very different kind. Vogue: Inventing the Runway will explore the history of the catwalk, from the intimate couture salons of the early 20th century to the all-singing, all-dancing global productions of the present.

The exhibition, announced on Monday, will aim to lift the curtain on one of the industry’s most symbolic experiences, showing attenders the inside workings of fashion shows; the making of the glamorous sausage.

“At Vogue we’ve been lucky enough over the decades to see many incredible runway shows, which have often told the story of fashion as much as the clothes themselves,” said Anna Wintour, the chief content officer of Condé Nast, and global editorial director of Vogue, in a press release.

The list of houses and designers signed up to be involved reads like a who’s who of the industry, past and present. It includes big luxury names such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Versace, Burberry, Chanel, Christian Dior, Givenchy and Prada, as well as younger, buzzy names such as the cult British designer Martine Rose and the French designer to thank for minuscule bags and gargantuan hats, Simon Porte Jacquemus.

The show will feature designers who this year are moving out of the industry spotlight, such as the 65-year-old Belgian fashion designer Dries van Noten, who last month staged the swansong show of his eponymous label after more than three decades at its helm.

It also includes those who are reaching the heady heights of household notoriety, such as Jonathan Anderson, who was a costume designer on the much-hyped film Challengers and who designs for the luxury Spanish brand Loewe as well as his own eponymous label. From Victoria Beckham to Vivienne Westwood, Jacquemus to Jean Paul Gaultier, Christopher John Rogers to Comme des Garçons, the list of names is encyclopaedic.

“It’s fitting to host this Lightroom experience within skipping distance of Central Saint Martins, where so many of the UK’s fashion students begin their journeys to becoming designers we know and love,” said Chioma Nnadi, the head of editorial content at British Vogue, who could have been referencing Alexander McQueen, who graduated from the the London art school in 1992.

The venue’s technology – four-storey walls and 360-degree canvas – will be used to help project the spectacle of modern catwalk shows, some of which have been a far cry from the low-key “fashion parades” of the early 20th century. In recent years, shows have been so elaborate as to involve Chanel, for instance, launching rockets to the sound of Elton John’s Rocket Man.

Catwalk shows are often criticised for their exclusivity. Social media has, to some extent, democratised fashion week but there has been some backlash. At Paris fashion week in March, the hyper-expensive brand The Row issued a no-phones edict at its show.

Wintour said the Lightroom exhibition would offer “a wonderful opportunity for a lot more people to experience first-hand the thrill of watching the history of fashion unfold right in front of them”.

A New Experience in Fashion Shows

Fashion shows have traditionally been exclusive events, accessible only to industry insiders, celebrities, and the elite. However, the Vogue show aimed to break down these barriers. Held in a large, beautifully decorated venue, the show was designed to be an immersive experience that welcomed fashion enthusiasts from all walks of life.

Gone were the traditional rows of seats where attendees would passively watch models strut down the runway. Instead, the space was transformed into a dynamic environment where guests could move around freely, interact with displays, and even step behind the scenes to see how a fashion show comes together.

The Venue: A Fashion Wonderland

As soon as guests entered the venue, they were transported into a fashion wonderland. The space was divided into several sections, each offering a unique experience. There were interactive displays showcasing the latest trends, virtual reality stations where attendees could “try on” outfits, and behind-the-scenes areas where they could watch makeup artists, hairstylists, and designers at work.

The centerpiece of the venue was the catwalk itself, but it wasn’t just any ordinary runway. This catwalk was a 360-degree experience, with models walking in a circular path that allowed guests to view the outfits from every angle. Large screens placed around the venue provided close-up views and background information about the designs.

Conclusion: A New Era of Fashion Shows

The immersive Vogue show was a groundbreaking event that lifted the curtain on the world of fashion. By giving attendees a behind-the-scenes look and creating an interactive environment, Vogue succeeded in making fashion more accessible and engaging.

This show marked a new era for fashion events, one where technology, inclusivity, and interactivity take center stage. It demonstrated that fashion is not just about the clothes on the runway, but about the creativity, hard work, and passion that go into every design.

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