"There is no other industry more entwined with escapism than fashion.
It is essential to fashion's appeal and commerciality. From advertising to the catwalk, magazines to street style blogs, the selling power is in fantasy and creating a brand vision. Fashion is all about experiencing escapism and self expression through the outlet of clothing.
It is the show that creates a fantastical aura around the clothing and brand they are showcasing, with otherworldly models, dramatic lighting, emotive music and of course the catwalk itself.
Over at London Fashion Week McQ by Alexander McQueen presented their very first runway show for the spin off label, in a hope to bring it up to the design aesthetic and quality of the main label, rather than as a casual diffusion line. The runway was dusted with autumnal leaves, and intense lighting as ghostly models floated through the rustling leaves. Suzie Lau of 'Style Bubble' described the finale, with lead model Kristen McMenamy "emerging on to the dried leaf covered catwalk and standing there, illuminated like a Titania-esque statue with leaves falling from above. She then looks up bewildered and lost and finds nestled under the leaves, a rope that guides her to a dramatic reveal of a woodland scene and into a curious looking hut."
New York Fashion week saw the models at Marc Jacobs' show wandering through an exquisite ruined castle formed solely of paper. The magical set cast haunting bold shadows across the stage and took a day and a half to construct and two days to install. It was designed and created Rachel Feinstein, a sculptor who has previously modelled for Jacobs. He recruited her as set designer after seeing the installation 'Puritan's Delight', a dark and mythical wooden sculpture of a broken carriage, like an image straight from Grimm's Fairytales. Feinstein explained “He said, 'No castles, no fairytales—I want ruins, I want grottoes, I want, kind of like the Marie Antoinette version of a ruin.'"
Of course I have to mention last season at Chanel, where Lagerfeld plummeted the Grand Palais underwater, complete with coral, giant fish and Florence Welch emerging from a giant clam to perform. All this done in a palette of stark white. Would you expect anything else? Although the collection was a little disappointing, it was the catwalk show that kept the bloggers writing and the image of an underwater paradise that will sell the collection this spring.
Perhaps fashion is more about presenting an escape through clothing, than the actual garments themselves?"