27 Iconic Catwalk Moments That Will Take Your Breath Away

Nellie Eden & Hannah Lyons Powell

As another Couture Week comes to a close, we revisit the most show-stopping fashion moments in catwalk history. Remember the Chanel supermarket? Or McQueen's Kate Moss hologram? Relive the best and boldest shows here

1. Chanel Couture 2015

Ever wondered what it would be like if Lily-Rose Depp, Jemima Kirke, Vanessa Paradis, Rita Ora, Cara Delevingne, Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart were all clad in Chanel couture playing card games at the chicest pop-up casino in Paris? Well, thanks to Karl Lagerfeld you can wonder no more...

2. Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2006

... Or otherwise known as the 'Kate Moss Hologram One', Lee McQueen's a/w 2006 catwalk show is also amongst his most famous. Whilst dedicated to his longtime friend and muse Isabella Blow, the famous apparition of Kate Moss as a hologram in a ruffled dress to close the show, was in support of the Brit model (and Lee McQueen's close friend) who was lying low in the fashion world at the time.

3. Gianni Versace Autumn/Winter 1991

The supers shaking it in super short babydolls was a moment that redefined the word ‘model.’

4. Perry Ellis Spring/Summer 1993

Marc Jacobs’ ‘grunge’ collection was a seminal moment in modern fashion, launching the then relatively-unknown young designer straight into stardom. It also provoked his dismissal, prompting him to go solo. We think he may have had the last laugh.

5. Jean Paul Gaultier Autumn/Winter 1992

How can you top a conical bra? Like this. For the finale of Jean Paul Gaultier's 1992 show, Madonna whipped off her perfectly-cut jacket to reveal her very naked bust.

6. Vivienne Westwood Autumn/Winter 1993

Aside from the fact that Naomi Campbell toppled in her skyscraper heels, this collection has become key for its use of tartans and plaids that form part of Westwood’s legendary signature.

7. Gucci Autumn/Winter 1995

Tom Ford made his mark and set the tone of the decade – hello, Kate Moss in a white tuxedo. It doesn’t get more glamorous than that.

8. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 1999

Car robots spraying graffiti on ball gowns – it’s McQueen all over and this is still one of our favourite catwalk moments.

9. Hussein Chalayan Autumn/Winter 2000

His collection Afterwords saw models emerging from pieces of modernist furniture, which appeared to mutate magically into dresses and accessories. A pure genius, Chalayan is consistently pushing boundaries.

10. Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2001

Glass cells were revealed and models posing as mental patients writhed and slithered in mussel shell skirts to impossibly chic pearl-colored cocktail dresses. It was both poignant and beautiful.

11. Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2000 Couture

A poignant swansong for the legendary designer saw Catherine Deneuve sashaying down the catwalk in his trouser suit and Jerry Hall embodying Hollywood Glamour.

12. Christian Dior Autumn/Winter 2005 Couture

An antique gold carriage drawn by prancing stallions carried Erin O’Connor down the catwalk in an Edwardian-style dress. Enough said.

13. Jean Paul Gaultier Autumn/Winter 2007

Coco Rocha trained as an Irish dancer – handy, then, that she opened Gaultier’s highland inspired show with an Irish jig that had the crowd going wild.

14. Matthew Williamson Spring/Summer 2008

Prince was an expected face on Williamson’s front row, that is, before two models (identical twins) began having a boogie down the catwalk. The famously reclusive Prince jumped to his feet and sang his hit U Got The Look to a crazed fash-pack. 

15. Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2013

Not only was this one of Marc Jacobs most iconic collections for the French brand but the show has also proved amongst the most memorable too, which is no small part down to the fact that he installed four large functioning escalators on top of a giant yellow chessboard to showcase the designs with the same print. Nifty!

16. Fendi Spring/Summer 2008

The Kaiser (dear Karl) staged a runway show for Fendi on the Great Wall of China. It cost £10 million in production, spanned two days in Bejing – and showed a whopping 88 Fendi looks. Phew.

17. Victor & Rolf Spring/Summer 2010

Romance was in the air at this particular show, which unveiled cotton candy tulle dresses and rose-covered heels. Vertical shelves of tulle were dashed through transforming ball gowns into things of architectural beauty.

18. Chanel Spring/Summer 2010

This collection marks the re-adoption of two previously heathen items back into fashion religion – clogs (not seen since their abandonment way back in the '70s) and temporary tattoos. Oh, and there was also a ménage-a-trois in a haystack and Lily Allen singing. Of course.

19. Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2011

Here's Marc Jocobs doing what he does best – fetish and Mossy. A leather-gloved Kate smoked a sultry cigarette to close the show. Fashion. Magic.

20. Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2012

Simmons created peerlessly beautiful dresses and coats for his last show at Sander. The audience stood and cheered until a notoriously shy Raf appeared, weeping for a moment to face his encore.

21. Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2012

This extravagant, $8 million custom train was a 21st century fashion phenomenon that steamed through the Louvre as the clock struck ten. Getting back to the fashion house’s roots in luggage, the underlying business message was neatly captured by the white gloved porter who carried a model’s case.

22. Burberry Autumn/Winter 2012

The Burberry catwalk show finale began to a crack of thunder and a simulated rain storm sent water streaming down all sides of the vast transparent marquee while the audience watched from within. It finished with models sheltering under their famous umbrellas. Beautiful. 

23. Chanel Autumn/Winter 2013

Master auteur Karl Lagerfeld did it again in 2008 when he put a whopping great carousel in the middle of the Grand Palais in Paris. Genius

24. Saint Laurent Autumn/Winter 2013

A show entirely without reverence or homage. Hedi Slimane brought his own brand of Californian Grunge that had little do with Yves. Whilst some deemed it treacherous, others applauded his audacity and hailed the collection as genius.

25. Givenchy Autumn/Winter 2013

Tisci's beautiful A/W13 collection showcased wet-look kiss curls, floral prints, a Bambi motif and biker jackets. On each guest's seat was a manifesto, handwritten by Antony Hegarty, entitled 'FUTURE FEMINISM'. Anthony performed three songs at the show, including the powerfully heartfelt You Are My Sister to the accompaniment of a full orchestra, while dressed in a black Givenchy robe.

26. Lanvin Autumn/Winter 2012

It isn’t over until Alber sings. Alber Elbaz celebrated his 10th anniversary at Lanvin by singing Que Sera Sera. He dedicated the song to all the people in fashion who had helped him, 'realise his dream'. 'I love you,' he added.

27. Chanel Autumn/Winter 2014


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