There are only a handful of fashion brands exempt from pulling stunts in their shows, and Spring/Summer 2024 was no exception. We’ve seen jaw-dropping collections throughout Paris Fashion Week, hosted in stunning locations, and worn by the world’s most iconic models. Yet it’s the stunts we just can’t get out of our heads. Here’s some of the most memorable moments we’ll no doubt still be thinking about when FW24 comes around.
FKA twigs got in a workout at Valentino
As intricate and eye-catching as Valentino’s SS24 collection itself was, the most memorable part of Pierpaolo Piccioli’s show was a performance from FKA twigs. The singer started her set by running a lap around the runway before making it to a stage in the middle of the space where she rolled in a box filled with dirt, and subsequently began singing in French. An act of performance art never goes amiss at fashion month, and FKA twigs was definitely the one to do it, so personally we loved this moment.
Issey Miyake took SS24 to the ballet
Issey Miyake’s show at Paris Fashion Week was titled “Grasping the Formless,” and featured clothing and models that both moved with the fluidity of water. Before the brand’s collection was shown, dancers dressed in black and white put on a hypnotic performance that was actually based on Issey Miyake’s inspiration for SS24: nature. Moving like elements through the space, the dancers held the audience’s attention by moving in captivating waves, before eventually departing to allow the models to walk freely. But honestly, the hypnotic style of their performance had us in a trance for the rest of the show.
Moody models took over at Maison Margiela
We’ve seen models with straight faces and cheek splitting smiles at fashion month for time, but by far our favourite facial expression was seen on the moody models at Maison Margiela. The brand’s SS24 show featured boundary-pushing, technically progressive garments that culminated in a truly beautiful collection, yet there was a stunt underway throughout the show that managed to catch our eye as well. Models walked with moody pouts and glaring eyes as they strutted down the runway, in a style that was as Margiela as a pair of Tabis. Giving a grungy edge to the collection simply through the expression on their faces, we’ll admit that the models made the show.
Balenciaga welcomed Amanda Lepore
Balenciaga shrugged off its sombre coat at SS24, reviving some of the brand’s renowned excitement by inviting fashion’s most famous faces to walk a plush, red velvet carpet. Amongst the long list of celebrities who we saw both in the crowd and on the runway at Balenciaga, Amanda Lepore caught everyone’s attention when she walked out in a black, lace gown and her iconic Hollywood style blowout. Notorious for her rise to fame in the New York nightlife scene before launching a career as a performance artist, Amanda Lepore is a favourite of Demna’s, and we’re sure of everyone else too after Balenciaga’s show.
Mugler’s wind machine stole the show
Mugler took one look at Paris Fashion Week SS24 and said “where’s all the drama?”, bringing arguably the most theatrics we’ve seen this season. Giant, industrial fans filled the space with gusts of wind which blew the model’s looks into disarray at Mugler, an iconic stunt the likes of which we’ve all tried pulling off with a hairdryer. Long trains from their heads and shaking feathers were blown in whips behind the models, although it did sometimes look as though they were struggling to walk against the strong current. The vision was definitely there, but let’s not blow it out of proportion: Mugler’s stunt fell a little flat when the fans turned off.
Rick Owens released pink clouds at SS24
Rick Owens – the designer best known for one shade: black – screwed stereotypes at SS24 and introduced another colour to his show, in the form of an iconic stunt. Exiting his “era of darkness,” Rick Owens opened the show by releasing a cloud of fuchsia into the air, which models began slowly emerging from. Gradually, a bright yellow burst of colour joined the pink haze, which combined to fill the air around and above the show with a pink-yellow-orange tint, like the fumes of a particularly vibrant fire. Whether Rick Owens’ pink period is here to stay or just a phase, the pink clouds at his SS24 will forever be iconic.
UNDERCOVER put on a light show
UNDERCOVER’s SS24 show opened to a dim, intimate space, where the collection utilised lighting as both an element of entertainment and fashion. Whilst the first part of the collection showed in low lighting, featuring tulle dresses and excessive layering in the dim, the show actually plunged into darkness before revealing the most captivating aspect of UNDERCOVER’s collection: luminescent ball gowns. And as if the gowns themselves weren’t beautiful enough, they were actually fixed with lights inserted into their skirts, which revealed live roses and butterflies. The best kind of stunt at a fashion show is one that actually utilises the collection, which is why UNDERCOVER’s stunt at SS24 was so iconic.
The blind ball at Christian Cowan was a hazard
Finally, we’ve saved maybe the most viral stunt from Paris Fashion Week SS24 till last. Obviously it’s Christian Cowan’s giant ball. In case you haven’t already seen this stunt all over the Internet, at Christian Cowan’s SS24 show the designer released one poor model onto the runway dressed as a giant furry ball – with no eye holes. The look was a blind, bludgeoning nightmare that meant the model walked into Sam Smith (who was performing) and the FROW, before giving up and simply sitting on the runway. In the end, two people from backstage had to come and rescue the ball. If that isn’t the most dramatic stunt from SS24, we don’t know what is.
At this point, the discussion around stunts at fashion months is so common that we often talk about them more than the collections. But what’s important to remember is that a stunt doesn’t equate any less value for a designer’s collection. For example, Christian Cowan’s ball of fury at SS24 might’ve been the most talked about element of his show, but that doesn’t take away from the collection itself, which was beautifully crafted.
Paris Fashion Week hosted an array of awe-inspiring collections, featuring garments that were captivating, flawless feats of craftsmanship; but, as we’ve come to learn, the quality of a brand’s collection has nothing to do with its reliance on stunts. Here’s to more gorgeous collections at FW24 and hopefully more stunts to entertain us too.