As the year draws to a close, we take a look back at some of the most memorable moments from the catwalk shows of 2013.
Karl Lagerfeld’s pair of brides
Topping off the Chanel Couture show in January, Karl Lagerfeld sent out a pair of female models in bridal couture, holding hands as they walked down the catwalk. Making a bold statement in support of gay marriage, the designer made headlines with his unexpected grand finale.
McQueen menswear returns to London
Alexander McQueen menswear made a return to London in January, bringing with it a collection of exaggerated shoulders, oversized outerwear and pinstripe-play. A welcome addition to the LC:M schedule, the show was one of the highlights of the season.
Tom Ford’s womenswear baffles us all
Tom Ford’s grand return to the catwalk at London Fashion Week for autumn 13 fell flat, with a bizarre collection that left us stumped. Our review came as follows:
If money really is funny in the rich man’s world, then Tom Ford has a great sense of humour. It’s his wont to make clothes for the ludicrously wealthy - produce classic pieces that will stay chic forever and the people will pay. Unfortunately, his womenswear missed the mark. All the show notes said was that he was inspired by the ‘cross-cultural, multi-ethnic’, so essentially, everything. And from the fur to the velvet, to the leather and the sequins, there was indeed a large dose of ‘the lot’. With eye-watering prices for a range with very little cohesion, it was hardly the grand return to the catwalk that was hoped for.
Burberry menswear comes home
Burberry men’s much-anticipated homecoming in June didn’t disappoint, with a celebration of all things British, from the country’s artistic spirit to its dubious weather. The collection was called Writers and Painters, taking inspiration from Alan Bennett and David Hockney, who hail from Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey’s home county, Yorkshire. It was bold in colour, with a nod to the eccentricity of British style.
Rick Owens stepping it up
Rick Owens’ spring 14 collection – entitled ‘Vicious’ – shocked and awed spectators in Paris when the designer had it shown on a team of forty steppers – a uniquely aggressive style of dance. The images from the show went viral immediately, with the angry expressions on the dancers’ faces lending themselves to many a fashion gif, but it was, in the words of journalist Tim Blanks, “A joyous assault on fashion orthodoxy.” We absolutely loved it.
Celine’s new direction
One of the biggest surprises of Paris Fashion Week spring14 had to be Phoebe Philo’s Céline, with a brash, daring statement collection standing out among the pretty pastels, whites and soft sheer fabrics that epitomised the season from other designers. For a designer that made its name on minimalism and quiet femininity, this was a turning point towards bright colours, exaggerated silhouettes and pieces as aesthetically bold as the eyebrows on the models wearing them.
Harper Beckham’s FROWment
Cementing her place among the fashion greats, who could forget little Harper Beckham upstaging even American Vogue editor Anna Wintour herself, as she took her place on the front row for her mum’s spring 14 catwalk, escorted by her dad David Beckham, no less. A fashion name to watch for the future.
Jean Paul Gaultier does Strictly Come Dancing
Tango, salsa, even the soundtrack from Grease, the spring 14 Jean Paul Gaultier show saw models strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges. Cementing his place among the best of fashion’s showmen, Gaultier danced down the catwalk for the grand finale, in a celebration of all we know and love about the outlandish designer. The clothes may have been secondary to the spectacle, but this was fun fashion at its finest.
Marc Jacobs’ Swansong at Louis Vuitton
As the lights went down at Le Carre du Louvre in Paris, Marc Jacobs’ time at the design helm of Louis Vuitton came to an end. The collection saw a dramatic infusion of all-black feathered dresses, sheer bodysuits and - err - boyfriend jeans, a greatest hits of Jacobs’ LV adventure. But, it was the set itself which marked the most poignant aspect of Jacobs’ farewell show. A showman to the core, Jacobs’ time at Louis Vuitton has been largely characterized by catwalk sets that have awed spectators. His final collection was shown on a set built around highlights of Jacobs’ previous shows, but designed entirely in black, offering a funeral-like trip down memory lane. It was dedicated to “the women who inspire [him] and the showgirl in every one of them”
Moschino’s greatest hits
It wasn’t just Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton putting on a show of greatest hits for spring 14. From biker jackets to trompe l’oeil to power shoulders, the Moschino spring 14 collection was a hit and miss of decades gone by. Interwoven with some whacky references including the Italian flag, nuns and even shopping bags, the show was one of the most memorable of the season, not always for the best reasons.