Most Memorable Fashion Week Moments
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Style Files1 of 20
By Natasha Burton
Fashion Week is upon us, so to honor this couture-showcasing tradition, we've collected some of the most outrageous and newsworthy happenings over the past 20 years. See how many legendary Fashion Week moments you can remember.
What a Spill2 of 20
In 1993, this seasoned supermodel took a tumble at Vivienne Westwood's Paris show while wearing 9-inch platform heels. The infamous shoes were later included in a 2011 exhibition featuring the British designer at the Bowes Museum in the U.K.
Search: Watch video of it
Well-Tented3 of 20
Before 1994, New York Fashion Week didn't have a unified location. A high-powered industry maven solidified a locale that year at Bryant Park, where “The Tents,” as they were called, were used to house runways for the first time.
Graffiti Artist4 of 20
Alexander McQueen's spring/summer 1999 show celebrated the art of creation: He featured this model on a revolving platform while two robotic arms sprayed her dress with paint. The dress she wore was later displayed in a tribute to the designer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Search: Watch video of the show
Rumor Had It5 of 20
In 2004, this designer unveiled his over-90-pound weight loss—and stories swirled that he shed the pounds by eating a diet of horsemeat, tomatoes and Diet Coke. The truth, however, was almost as bizarre: He wrote a diet book with French physician Jean-Claude Houdret that featured dishes like calf's liver with wild strawberries.
Search: Check out some of his designs
She's Not There6 of 20
This designer paid tribute to Kate Moss, who at the time was experiencing a low point in her career, by closing his fall 2006 show with a hologram of the supermodel floating over the runway.
Search: Watch video of the show
With the Band7 of 20
Sweet Moves8 of 20
This model is known for her dancing abilities, so it was only fitting that Jean Paul Gaultier featured her talents in his 2007 show.
Search: See video of her moves
Health Matters9 of 20
In 2007, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) formed a health initiative discouraging models from getting too thin. The designer who pioneered the campaign proclaimed that she and her colleagues "share a responsibility to protect women ... sending the message that beauty is health."
Final Bow10 of 20
After 45 years, this legendary designer presented his last runway collection in 2008. The grand finale featured him among models donning identical red dresses, paying tribute to his industry trademark hue.
Painted Ponies11 of 20
In 2008, this fashion house became the talk of Paris when it unveiled a giant, branded carousel decked out in oversize bows and purses.
Search: See it for yourself
Opting Out12 of 20
During the Great Recession, some top designers (including this one, pictured) decided not to show at the official Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park. While a few claimed this was a creative decision, others blamed the recession, given the over-the-top cost of staging a show in The Tents.
Search: Which designer opted out?
Celeb Inspired13 of 20
When this actress (then 23 years old) served as an artistic advisor for Emanuel Ungaro in 2009, the collection she created featured bright colors, bare midriffs, and models sporting heart-shaped glittery pasties.
Making the Move14 of 20
On Thin Ice15 of 20
In 2011, designer Elise Øverland presented her collection outdoors on an ice rink and enlisted this Olympic figure skater to show off her final look.
Search: Watch video from the show
Super-Sized16 of 20
One of the most talked-about runway shows of all time was Louis Vuitton's extravaganza in 2011, which featured four working elevators manned by bellboys and 67 models—some of whom were (surprise!) veteran supermodels.
Search: Check out videos of the show
Model Milestone17 of 20
Originally born a man, this model turned heads when she was featured in Givenchy's fall/winter 2010 ad campaign. But she made history on the runway at São Paulo Fashion Week (and, later, Paris Fashion Week) as the first transgender model to walk in a show.
Age Limits18 of 20
In 2012, the CDFA asked designers to commit to only using models over age 16 in their shows. One designer, however, hired two 14-year-olds represented by Ford Models, saying, "If their parents are willing to let them do a show, I don’t see any reason that it should be me who tells them that they can't."
Size Up19 of 20
In fall 2013, this brand became the first plus-size line to show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, shattering the prevailing notion that models—and couture—must conform to smaller size constraints.
Foot In Mouth20 of 20
Days before showing his spring 2014 collection, this designer tweeted, "'Boots on the ground' or not, let's not forget about sandals, pumps and loafers," using a phrase widely used to debate sending troops into Syria. Despite a backlash, the designer defended his tweet on Instagram saying he's long used his platform to "provoke dialogue about important issues."