Could the catwalk go out of fashion?

It’s quite common now that we find ourselves bouncing from week to week and asking ‘what should have been’. 

This month thousands of designers, buyers, press and generally fabulous people should have been flocking to the worlds capitals and fashion hubs to embrace the Fashion Month but alas the crowds were not allowed for obvious reasons. 

This however didn’t stop the top brands from making a mark with a few, such as Dolce & Gabbana and the controversial Etro, putting on traditional physical catwalk shows to a smattering of press, influencers and local celebs, masks mandatory of course but only for the onlookers. 

It was however some of the bolder brands that really broke the mould, re-writing the rules of how to put on a show by delivering sensational couture experiences. Shot in the famed Cinecittà Studios, Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli delivered a live, beautifully choreographed and cinematic performance that both heightened and focussed the whole couture experience. 

Penned ‘Of Grace and Light’ the film short takes viewers initially on a tour of Rome, where Valentino was created. The camera flows though monochrome, empty city streets, marking landmarks around Cinecittà Studios. The reference to Italy’s movie industry is irrefutable, such directors as Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti are honoured in their own way, showcasing la dolce vita. 

The whole piece is truly etherial with models suspended from the sky or posed on columns in the longest flowing skirts you’ll ever see, canvases onto which flames, flowers and other fauna are projected. An all white collection set on a black as night stage combined with feathery and effervescent design cues, gave the whole collection an almost angelic quality. It’s fabulous and worth seeking out @maisonvalentino.

What is more remarkable is that the whole piece will in time be followed by millions of fans world wide, (Valentino have 13.7million followers on instagram) far more reach than a traditional runway show might have and making it far more accessible, no longer exclusively for the fashion elite.

Also notable this month were Loewe who sent their show out in a box, literally…a Show In A Box. The show was delivered in a pop-up format that the recipient created themselves along with an ingenious manually operated record player to deliver the soundtrack @loewe. 

Jacquemus, famous for his outdoor runways, created a stunning SS21 show by mowing a curvaceous catwalk through a corn field and socially seating guests along its length, a truly elegant solution @jacquemus.

What is however clear is that all of the above are a beacons for the creative and fashion industry in that they have shown if you re-write the rules to suit the need you can deliver the goods, possibly better than before. To be the one to make ‘THE’ impact during fashion week, and there is always one, is a tremendous feat, but it took some guts to do it by breaking the mould of the traditional runway show.

What we can take away from this is that if you can be bold enough to look carefully at the obstacle in front of you, open your mind to new possibilities and most of all be prepared to get creative, you can write your very own rules. With the world we once knew changing beneath us from day to day there are no creative formulas we can wholly rely on. 

If I’m honest, I’d not expect anything less from a fashion industry that is already full of rule breakers, rebels and troublemakers. What it does prove is every business is different, every challenge is unique. 

So be prepared to be bold, be prepared to accept that the new rule is no rules.


Image Credit: Loewe SS21 Men’s Collection, ‘Show-in-a-box’ courtesy of