What AVAVAV’s FW24 show says about fashion

What AVAVAV’s FW24 show says about fashion

by Ollie Cox
3 min

Swedish label AVAVAV always gives a head-turning last hurrah to Milan Fashion Week with its unserious, tongue-in-cheek displays. 

Since taking the helm as Creative Director in 2020, Beate Karlsson has brought a light-hearted, humorous approach to the label, confronting the sometimes all too serious fashion industry. It is just clothes, after all. Last season, we were treated to a playful mockery of the time-poor trials and tribulations of the fashion designer as models took to the runway undressed. It was silly, yet it spoke to a very real issue in the industry.  

Previous collections have seen fingers used as toes and prosthetic bums attached to models, kicking up a storm online. And today, the brand unveiled its latest muse: the haters. A stripped-back set saw models appear from between pillars, which doubled as blown-up screens, where disapproving and hateful Instagram comments were displayed in a non-stop reel. These click-collecting stunts leave us asking the question: is it even about the clothes? 

The show took hating out of the virtual world and into the present, giving showgoers the power to review the collection in real-time, arming them with an array of passion-filled projectiles, which included eggs, fruit, discarded cans and other miscellaneous trash items. 

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As was to be expected, clips of the craziness did the rounds online, being quickly shared, re-shared and shared again. Undoubtedly, this theatrical display was streamlined for social media and got people talking about the show, but at the same time, took away from the items we saw on the runway. 

To soak up the splashes, we got hooded Oxford shirts, some worn with loose-fitting ties which featured protruding details to the side, others layered with tailored jackets. Velour hoodies and skirts were pared with chunky, detailed silver belts, and dresses featured bow-tied straps which crossed its wearers’ chests, arriving in dusty pink. Slogan “Sale tees” and “Filthy Rich” graphics were a continuation of the temporary tattoos models wore last season, and face-covering glasses protected models from projectiles. Across numerous looks, we saw AVAVAV’s viral four-fingered boots, again contributing to the online allure of the show.

While it was all fun and games and actually quite enjoyable to watch, will people remember the clothing? Fashion is an art form and can be used as a great vehicle for spotlighting issues such as online hate, but today’s show felt more like a stunt for social media, something fashion is a bit too familiar with. It’s not just the Swedish label that uses shock factor to sell. Coperni spray-painted Bella Hadid for Spring/Summer 2023, Kim Jones’ New York curtain yank for Fendi is still on everyone’s “For You Page,” and KidSuper had an unravelling suit for FW24. 

AVAVAV’s Fall/Winter 2024 ready-to-wear collection felt like exactly that – wearable and, beyond the stunts, felt lost on the runway. Without a doubt, the meaning behind the collection was incredibly important, holding a mirror up to keyboard warriors and trolling the trolls. Models donning hoodies and utilitarian waist packs felt like a reflection of real-life casual clothing, perhaps as an intentional representation of the comfort people crave when they are victims of online hate. Against the noise and nuisance of falling rubbish, the clothing was pushed to the background and no longer served as the show’s centrepiece. 

Was it a stunt for stunt’s sake? Artistically, the impact of AVAVAV’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection was strong and encapsulated the creative reflection of real life that fashion shows often are. It was a welcome shake-up to the rigidity of fashion. However, beyond the humour, today’s collection and its presentation felt like it could have been better displayed in an art gallery, where any expectations of a clothing collection fall by the wayside. 

More on Culted 

See: A Culted catch-up with Young Emperors for the Loro Piana Fall/Winter 2024-2025 collection

See: Key looks from Missoni’s striped FW24 show

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