5 Most Creative Catwalks

When the catwalk comes to mind we think of a plain narrow white strip in which models walk along to display the designer’s latest collection. Yet as fashion has evolved, so has the use and presentation of the catwalk.

The catwalk was invented in the 1800s, originally known as a “fashion parade”. The parade would have commonly taken place in Paris couture salons as a way of presenting the designer’s creation to the paying customer. The parades then branched out into larger department stores where famous Parisian couture designers would showcase their designs to the store owner, as well as their richer clients. Moving into the early 20th century, fashion shows became increasingly popular. Designers began to theatricalise their shows, adding music and narrative to describe their creations; to an often exclusive audience. Towards the end of the century shows became more extravagant and were available to a wider audience. Designer’s pushed the boundaries when presenting their creations, choosing unheard of locations and unorthodox backdrops to set the scene for their shows.

Today, the catwalk is an essential part in showcasing a designer’s collection. It forms the foundation of the show and can reflect the theme and style the designer is trying to portray, before the collection itself is revealed. The catwalk is as important to the model as the stage is to the actor; the models can become live works of art and can transport the audience’s imagination, as if in the theatre. With this in mind, here are a few examples of the most original catwalks from the past decade.

Brand: Chanel

Date: Spring/Summer 2013

“Energy is the most important thing in life” commented Karl Lagerfeld on the energy inspired fashion show held in the Grand Palais. The catwalk consisted of 13 wind turbines and solar panels for the floor which contrasted amazingly with the glass and iron architecture of the building. The scale of the white giants compared to the tiny models created an amazing effect, emphasising the intricacy of the clothing.

Brand: Chanel

Date: Autumn/Winter 2010

Global warming is brought to mind when looking at the world’s coolest show. Ice and snow imported from Sweden were used to create this impressive ice-berg stage.  The cool tones harmonised perfectly with the monochrome collection.