7 Of The Most Iconic Fashion Shows Held In Asia
In any other year, this would have been the season of cruise shows where luxury brands whisk top editors and VIPs to exotic locations to showcase their collections. But with all physical shows moved to digital or scrapped entirely, let's take a look back iconic shows held in Asia for a healthy dose of nostalgia.
1/7 Chanel Pre-Fall 2009/2010 in Shanghai
Flashing lights accompany gleaming fabrics, forming Lagerfeld’s thrilling urban “set” in this iconic Chanel show. Karl Lagerfeld brings the runway to Shanghai – literally, as he used Shanghai’s moving cityscape as the backdrop to his catwalk – as models walk briskly complementing the gritty aura.
With a heavy Chinese sartorial influence – from the silk linings and Mongolian tapestry boots, to cheongsams and Qipao gowns – Lagerfeld adds his own twist using oriental inspirations, all of which coordinated with the spirit of Shanghai. Red embellishments and beaded jewellery complemented the array of black and silver textures: from fur to feathers to a tweed suit – and yet, Lagerfeld laces each piece together perfectly to form this collection making it one to watch.
2/7 Fendi P/E 2007/2008 at the Great Wall of China
As the first major fashion show at the Great Wall, it’s unsurprising that the man behind this show is none other than Karl Lagerfeld – this time for Fendi. For a show costing LVMH US$10 million, a 12-month long planning process, and socialites such as Mira Yeh (LINK) in attendance; the expectations are high – and Lagerfeld doesn’t fall short.
The glimmering lights atop of the landmark added to the jet-set ambience of Lagerfeld’s modern take on the merge between East and West. Eighty-eight architectural silhouettes dotted the elevated runway atop of the Great Wall of China, their clothing characterised by spiral motifs, gem buckles, and deep pleats.
See also: These Are The Standout Cruise Collections of 2019
3/7 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2017 in Shanghai
Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows are never just about the lingerie, and this 2017 show held at the Mercedez-Benz arena in Shanghai is no different – as it marked another big jump in the fashion industry and its move towards the merge of the East and West in fashion. With 18,000 in attendance and a later broadcast reporting a viewership of over 2.5 billion in over 190 countries, the influence of Victoria’s Secret’s cannot be denied.
From a $US 2 million dollar fantasy bra designed by Mouawad, the official partner for Victoria’s Secret, which weighed over 600 carats; to performances by the likes of Harry Styles, Miguel, Jane Zhang and more – there was a lot to take in.
All of Victoria’s Secret Angels also walked in the same show for the first time (with the exception of Behati Prinsloo, who was pregnant at the time), in addition to the 7 Chinese models such as Ming Xi who featured in the show. Eighty-eight looks and thirty-seven wings walked the runway in total, which featured five segments: Nomadic Adventure, Porcelain Angels, Millennials Nation, Punk Angels, and Goddesses.
4/7 Dior Homme Pre-Fall 2018/2019 in Tokyo
From the moment the laser shone on the 39 foot tall silver statue overpowering the runway, which was made by Japanese artist Hayime Sorayama and a homage to Christian Dior’s love for the arts, guests knew Kim Jones’ vision would mark a new age for men’ fashion in his first show for Dior Homme.
Silky, sharp silhouettes dominated the stage, accompanying the slicked-back hair and cut cheekbones of the models; featuring space themes juxtaposed with floral elements inspired by Jones’ own childhood. Similar to his front-row guests, which ranged from A$AP Rocky in a sheer shirt and metallic trousers, to David Beckham in a classic luxe suit; Jones’ conceptualization for Dior oozed a universal appeal – there is a look here for every type of man.
5/7 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring/Summer 2011 in the Forbidden City, Beijing
Phillip Lim 3.1’s fifth anniversary celebration in the Forbidden City combines neutral tones and classic silhouettes in his youthful ready-to-wear collection.
Lim is no stranger to bringing his brand back to his roots, previously working on revitalising the stigma around “Made in China” in addition to hosting multiple VIP events in Hong Kong such as exhibitions, private dinner, or pop-ups exclusive to Hong Kong.
See also: Meet The 5 Hong Kong Designers Shaking Up The Local Fashion Scene This Year
6/7 Pradasphere Travelling Exhibition 2014 in Hong Kong
Rather than a classic runway, this pop-up museum by Prada – appropriately named “Pradasphere” – showcased the journey of founder Miuccia Prada herself.
With a memorable opening night featuring performances by Paris-based DJ Misty Rabbit and unconventional singer-songwriter Lorde –reminiscent of the champagne brands that brands used to throw in the city – this travelling exhibition brought a newfound interest to Hong Kong.
Featuring six glass showcases centred around the central themes of Prada’s work; archival pieces; screenings of short movies by Wes Anderson, Roman Polanski, and Ridley Scott; and a digital narration of Prada’s history; visitors were given a unique insight into Prada’s approach to fashion and her interpretation of the world around her.
7/7 Valentino Haute Couture 2019 in Beijing
A face painted silver, a giant bow, glittering sleeves, and a statement hot pink dress: Pierpaolo Piccioli makes these objectively contradicting attributes perfectly meld together in his opening look, his characteristic innovation melded with an elegant craftmanship outlining what’s to come in his Haute Couture collection for Valentino.
Statement gowns in a variety of textures dress a diverse group of models – normalising this sense of casting as he asks the rhetorical question “What if Cecil Beaton’s famous photograph of Charles James dresses could be with black women?”. Sensational colours drape handiwork that would catch the eye of any seasoned atelier – from floral appliques that took 990 hours to render, to a sleeveless gown composed of individual rose gauze squares that took 2010 hours – Piccioli carries an individuality about him that is impossible to summarise.