The Most Iconic Catwalk Moments Over the Years 

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As we are nearing the end of 2022, it’s time for a fashion recap of the most iconic catwalk moments we’ve seen over the past 25 years.

Did Coperni’s 2022 spray dress overthrow Alexander McQueen’s 1999 spray-painted dress, or are we just riding the train of innovation and fashion virtuosity?

With an eye on the past, we look at the trends that shaped fashion until now to predict what will be dominating the catwalk in 2023.

From spray to dress

2022 was one of the hottest years for fashion. In a post-pandemic world, we’ve seen the resurrection of everything forgotten and the spur of excitement overtaking the fashion realms.

One of the most spectacular moments of this year was Coperni’s sensational finale at Paris Fashion Week. The Parisian label used a special spray, Fabrican, to realise a design of an elegant white dress on supermodel Bella Hadid’s body within less than ten minutes. After the misty liquid had transformed into a wearable material, the label’s head of design, Charlotte Raymond, walked onstage, manipulated the neckline, and cut a dramatic leg slit. 

Once the dress was finished, Bella Hadid completed a lap around the runway, allowing the spectators to observe in detail the intricacy of the fabric: resembling a smooth jersey from afar, having the ease of movement of a T-shirt, and reminiscing water droplets from up-close. It was a true fashion masterpiece.

As technology is becoming an integral part of our lives, and now of fashion too, we’re expecting to see more innovations entering the catwalk and our own wardrobes.

A painted performance

Coperni’s spray dress isn’t the first time we’re witnessing the power of transformation in the realm of fashion design. In 1999, Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer show demonstrated a grand finale, in which model Shalom Harlow’s voluminous white dress was spray-painted by two robots while rotating on a turntable.

This was not only a fashion novelty but also a display of astute artistry, a noble theatrical performance, and an interlude to robotics and technology.

Alexander McQueen said about the finale: “[The finale of this collection] was inspired by an installation by artist Rebecca Horn of two shotguns firing blood-red paint at each other.”

Other commentary takes on the notion of the dying swan being elucidated in the show’s performance. The model completely surrendered to the robots’ spray attack, allowing the beautiful piece to realise itself on her.

The handbags parade

As the clock struck ten, a custom train in navy and gold steamed through the Louvre and pulled into the “station”. That’s how the Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2012 show began.

Models descended on to the station, presenting a traveller-inspired collection, each accompanied by a uniformed, white-gloved porter carrying her designer handbag and luggage.

The show was a comeback to the roots of the brand. Louis Vuitton pioneered retail travel fashion, which was evident in the whole collection designed by Marc Jacobs. After the show, the designer shared that “the whole collection started with the idea for the train. From there, we thought about what bags the woman would have on the train, what she would be wearing, where she would be going.”

Ten years later, Louis Vuitton’s iconic handbags are still present in their autumn/winter 2022 collection. This year, we saw a take on the more tailored looks eponymous with the brand to introduce flow and freedom of movement, even a youthful playfulness to the designs. 

That set the tone for the 2023 trends. School uniform elements woven into mille-feuille dresses in chiffon and tulle will be popular this upcoming year.  Silhouettes that exude a fleeting and mirage-like effect, allowing for freedom of movement, will also be present. They will be aptly grounded with knee-high heeled boots in tan, brown, and beige tones that are just the perfect touch to the outfits.

“Make fashion not war.”

Chanel’s spring/summer 2015 show was a feminist protest through the language of fashion. Top models stepped out at Grand Palais wearing tie-dye, lean silhouettes, and military garb – an echo of the ‘70s movement. 

Supermodel/mom Gisele, the poster girl for modern feminism, led the way for models like Caroline de Maigret, Cara Delevingne, and Kendall Jenner to parade their feminist message. The protest was silent and without propaganda because fashion was enough to convey the message strongly. At the finale, the signs “He is She!”, “Make fashion not war!” and “Ladies First!” came out accompanied by Whitney Houston’s anthem “I’m Every Woman”.

‘70s fashion is definitely having its comeback, and psychedelic patterns are becoming more and more popular with the younger generation. In 2023, dip-dye will be a massive trend, as seen in designer collections by Ulla Johnson, Peter Do, and Altuzarra. The designers gave an elegant reimagining to the tie-dye trend with dip-die techniques.

Throughout the history of fashion, we’ve seen incredible transformations on the runway that bridge the gap between technology and fashion. Today, even the impossible seems possible, and we’re excited to see more of that designer virtuosity on the catwalk.

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