It’s that time of year again when editors, models and influencers alike flock to the major fashion capitals of the world to soak up all the latest trends emerging on the runway. Of the four major cities, London is best known for its thriving underground scene and being home to some of the industry’s coolest and most avant-garde creatives including the likes of Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, JW Anderson and Molly Goddard. So it goes without saying that the runway shows are always pretty iconic too. To get you excited for the week ahead, we’ve rounded up seven of the most memorable moments ever…
1. Alexander McQueen’s painted dress, 1998
The late Alexander McQueen was infamous for his boundary-pushing contribution to fashion and an experimental approach to his fashion week presentations. In fact, he often thought up the idea for his shows before he even started sketching a new collection and it’s safe to say, they never disappointed! For the finale of his 1998 show, model Shalom Harlow donned a strapless white dress which was later spray painted black and neon yellow by onstage robots.
2. Victoria Beckham makes her Fashion Week debut, 2000
Eight years before she started designing her own collections, Victoria Beckham made her Fashion Week debut as a model starring in the Maria Grachvogel show in 2000. She sported hot pants paired with a lime sweater for the first look and turned heads in a fuchsia asymmetric number for the second. Believe it or not, this was one of the first rendezvous between the world of fashion and celebrity A-listers. How things have changed…
3. Grace Jones arrives at the Philip Treacy show on the roof of her car, 2000
Perhaps we have Grace Jone’s experience as a Bond girl to thank for the major stunt she pulled en route to the Philip Treacy show in 2000: unbelievably, Jones arrived not in, but on top of her car wearing a glittering gold top hat and stiletto heels. Now that’s what you call making an entrance…
4. Christopher Kane’s debut fashion week show, 2006
Christopher Kane was the most hotly-anticipated newcomer to the September 2006 London Fashion Week schedule and boy did he deliver the goods. Having just graduated from Central Saint Martins, Kane scored a Topshop sponsorship deal and sent a brilliant collection of second-skin mini dresses adorned with neon belts, risqué buckles and ruffled detailing down the runway. Big time editors and fashion directors crouched on the stairs to catch a glimpse and Vogue have since described it as an “I was there” moment.
5. Olympic athletes model Stella McCartney X Adidas, 2008
Following the Beijing Olympics, Stella McCartney chose to recruit Olympic athletes like Jaime Moore, Beth Tweddle and Becky Downie to model the pieces from her Spring Summer 2009 Adidas collaboration on the trampoline, balance beam and tennis court. She received a glowing response from all attendees including British cycling gold medallist Victoria Pendleton who noted “It’s nice to feel feminine and attractive, even when you’re sweating”. We couldn’t agree more!
6. Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Annabelle Neilson open Fashion For Relief, 2010
Naomi Campbell set up Fashion For Relief back in 2005 and it has continued to be a major annual fundraising event for victims of international natural disasters including the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the 2013 typhoon in the Philippines. The Fashion For Relief Haiti Show in February 2010, which was opened by Campbell, Kate Moss and Annabelle Neilson, raised over £1 million for Haiti!
7. Cara Delevingne takes the first onstage selfie, 2014
When she was just 21, Cara Delevingne made Fashion Week history by taking the first (followed by five more) Instagram video during the Giles Deacon show. She posed for her selfie, let the recording live stream whilst she strutted down the runway and posted the video exclaiming “Oh my gosh! The first live video from the catwalk!”.