Sure, we may never find ourselves on the front row of a fashion show making small talk with Beyonce or Anna Wintour. But thanks to social media, we can see all the styles from the runways of New York, London, Milan, and Paris almost as soon as those front-row VIPs do. But social media channels, especially Instagram, are not just making Fashion Week shows more widely seen. They’re also changing the nature of the shows themselves. According to Vogue, “the shows are less and less an insular, insiders-only experience.” With that in mind, we’re rounding up the top 10 social media moments from all four fashion weeks 2015.
New York Fashion Week
1. Instagram Beats The Runway
Instead of sending models wearing her creations down a runway, designer Misha Nonoo showed her collection on Instagram, which earned her a spot on T Magazine’s “Top 10 Moments from New York Fashion Week” list. “I am obsessed with Instagram – it is the first thing I check in the morning and last thing before bed,” Nonoo told Elle magazine in explaining why she chose to show her collection on social media. “I am inspired by Instagram’s power to encourage creativity amongst so many different fields.” (Launching your own major Instagram campaign? Our No. 1 tip is that scheduling is essential.)
2. Kanye Buzz
Kanye West is a relatively new fashion designer, but a veteran at creating buzz. Of course, it helped that his Yeezy Season 2 show was packed with celebrities, and that his wife, Kim Kardashian West, shared images from the show with her 48.1 million Instagram followers. The clothes themselves? “Pretty wearable. Muted, comfortable, utilitarian, distressed, and yes, cool,” Harper’s Bazaar ruled. Alas, the commenters on Kim K.’s Instagram seemed less enthusiastic.
3. Backdrops are everything.
Marc Jacobs debuted his collection at Manhattan’s historic Ziegfeld Theater, an appropriate choice for this social media-savvy (note the hashtag on the marquee) fashion showman. Vogue called Jacobs’ exuberant, eclectic clothes “totally irresistible.” In addition to his collection, Jacobs got everyone at New York Fashion Week talking about his outrageous, disco-themed party. Browse the pics on Instagram using the hashtag #mjxgloss.
London Fashion Week
4. Exhibition stole the show.
It was an exhibition, rather than a fashion show, that put Louis Vuitton in the spotlight in London. “Series 3” is an interactive look inside the creative process of the luxury brand and its creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière. “The (fashion) show is so short, and no matter how many people we allow in, no more than 1,000 people are going to see it,” Vuitton CEO Michael Burke told British Vogue. “Even with livestream, there’s no way for enough people to be able to experience it the way we want them to, and that’s where the exhibition comes in.” After an opening gala during London Fashion Week, the eye-popping exhibition is now open to the public free of charge through Oct. 18. Follow the conversation about it at #lvseries3.
5. Old meets new
Not many companies can boast in their Instagram bio that they’re 159 years old, as Burberry does. The British brand blends a sense of heritage with the bold willingness to try new things on social media. The New York Times’ T Magazine lauded Burberry for partnering with Snapchat to give fans a behind-the-scenes look at its collection and show. Meanwhile, on Instagram, it was hard to find a more glamorous front-row picture than this one from Burberry. From left: Suki Waterhouse, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne, St. Vincent, Naomie Harris and guest, Sophie Hunter and Benedict Cumberbatch
Milan Fashion Week
6. Fashion for the people
One Fashion Week isn’t enough to contain Kate Moss and Cara Delevingne. In Milan, the supermodel friends set off a frenzy when they appeared at the retailer Mango‘s flagship store. An avid Instagram user, Delevingne captured her own shots of the huge crowd. Moss and Delevingne are the faces of Mango’s fall 2015 campaign.
7. The Runway Selfie
Dolce & Gabbana‘s show had the feel of a glamorous, free-spirited holiday in Italy. So it was only fitting that model snapped selfies on the runway, as if to capture and share all the fun they were having with Instagram followers back home. “(Each) selfie was then projected onto giant screens located throughout the show venue, making for an interactive experience that also brought new meaning to the term ‘fast fashion,’” the New York Post wrote of the show.
Paris Fashion Week
Sept. 30-Oct. 7
8. Sparking debate
Of course, the greater presence of social media at fashion shows isn’t all fun and selfies. While positive buzz can spread more quickly now, so can perceived missteps. Valentino‘s Paris Fashion Week show presented an African-themed collection. Vogue found the clothes “as provocatively thoughtful as they are beautiful.” But others, including the Washington Post’s Robin Givhan, took to Twitter to question why the fashion house used words like “primitive” to describe the show, call out the lack of black models and raise issues of cultural appropriation.
9. Fashion takes flight
If only air travel were really like this … For Paris Fashion Week, Chanel created its own airport inside the Rue Palais. Givhan praises Chanel and its designer, Karl Lagerfeld, for getting what works on social media: “His Chanel shows are catnip for the Instagram crowd not simply because his backdrops are flashy but because we recognize something of ourselves in them. They are familiar locations, not fantasy lands. They have reflected topics that are part of the daily conversation. Lagerfeld doesn’t get ponderous. He simply stays relevant with his lavish, visual quips.” Follow #chanelairlines to see photos of famous folk like Lily Rose Depp and Janell Monae enjoying the show and its sleek, stylish setting.
10. Forever trendsetters
Speaking of celebrities, a true legend also made the scene at Paris Fashion Week: the perennial style icon Barbie. But Barbie didn’t just take in the shows. She also set her own trends by collaborating with makeup artist Pat McGrath on a series of stylish looks. Flawless as always.