Fashion Diary: Roll the credits on the spring runway season
Gossip, first impressions, trends in the making, celebrities and style setters. A regular feature by fashion critic Booth Moore.
The collections weren't just compelling this season, many of them were downright gripping. Just look at this amazing shot from John Galliano's show last week. The movie clapboard invitations set the scene for a "girl goes to Hollywood to become a star" theme. And the show didn't disappoint, with stunning visuals and a special effect that had bubbles falling from the ceiling and exploding into puffs of smoke in the models' wake.
The bias-cut chiffon gowns might have been fit for a starlet, but they didn't break any new ground for Galliano. But does that really matter anymore? He probably could have shown the same Hollywood-inspired collection he did a year ago; and between all the bubbles and Prince in the front row, no one would have noticed. Call it a sequel.
Coming on the heels of Rodarte's feathered Gothic romance in New York, Raf Simons' sultry strip down in Milan (complete with a soft-core film clip), Chanel's high-class barn-raising, Hermes' grassy tennis match and Alexander McQueen's Atlantis blockbuster in Paris, Galliano's cinematic tale underscored that fashion and entertainment are growing ever closer each season. (And I'm not talking about Lindsay Lohan's turn as creative advisor for Emanuel Ungaro.)
In this age of camera phones, Tweeting and re-Tweeting, creating a striking mis-en-scene is more important than ever before. If you're a designer with a runway for an international stage, you better have a story to tell. (Fog machines and surprise musical guests don't hurt either.)
Where it relates to film, Diane Pernet is someone who has been following this development for several years on her blog. She's the creator of the Fashion Film Festival, which celebrated its second year last week in Paris, with awards going to Gareth Pugh and Nick Knight, the fashion photographer/founder of Showstudio.com who collaborated with McQueen on his live webcast this season.
Certainly, there have been a lot of films about fashion ("The September Issue" and "Valentino: The Last Emperor" are two recent successes). And there have been fashion people who have made films (Tom Ford's upcoming feature "A Single Man" is the most big-budget example, but many more designers have made short films, in lieu of runway shows, to showcase their clothes, including Gareth Pugh and Hussein Chalayan.)
But this season suggested that the runway show is finally evolving into true living theater with not only the insular fashion community for an audience, but the whole world. And as more designers begin to live stream their productions on the Web, the more important the script, the scenery and the players will become.
So, pass the popcorn -- and hold the butter.
Photo: John Galliano spring/summer 2010 runway show in Paris. Credit: Peter Stigter & Jonas Gustavsson / For the Times.