Pre-Internet, runway shows were small, private affairs, attended exclusively by store buyers and the fashion press. The first glimpse the general public would have of the seasonal collections would be when they appeared in fashion editorial stories several months later. The advent of social media, and more specifically Instagram (which started in 2010) changed that forever.
According to an article written by Mara Peralta on fashionista.com, in 2023, a seasonal show is a display of a brand’s cultural capital. It’s not that theatrics are novel when it comes to fashion shows, but the way the general public interacts with them — especially on social media — certainly is. Peralta goes on to say that, “Influencers and celebrity-filled front rows have created a new paradigm. Now, so much of the conversation surrounding what made an event successful centers on how the whole thing was received online, specifically in terms of digital performance.”
Measuring the reach of a show on social media has become a widespread practice for marketers, brands and data companies alike; using metrics like Earned Media Value (EMV). PR company Karla Otto and influencer marketing platform Lefty collaborated on a data report for 2023
Below are the top ten runway shows from 2023 that had the most impact.
Bottega Veneta fw23
February 25, 2023
Creative director Matthieu Blazy said that he wanted to conjure up a ‘parade’ for his fw 2023 collection. The Umberto Boccioni statue from 1913 and the Roman bronzes from 1B.C. loaned from museums for the show were an integral part of that parade. Blazy explained. “The idea was to reconnect Italy through its history”. 81 looks were shown, with Italy’s Paola Manes opening the show and Liu Wen from China, closing.
Chanel Haute Couture fw23
July 4, 2023
Designer Virginie Viard showed a ‘stroll along the Seine’. “Sophistication and simplicity, permanence and beauty,” were phrases in her press release. The parade was led by Caroline de Maigret, best-selling author of ‘How to be Parisian Wherever You Are,’ 48 looks ranged from classic tweed day-wear, to evening wear with 3D effects. Hyunji Shin from South Korea, closing the show.
September 28, 2023
Matthew M Williams’ collection of 52 looks was staged inside a new work by architect Gabriel Calatrava for the Collaborative Architecture Laboratory. An enormous inverted tent, afforded views of Paris’ L’École Militaire at each end. The monochrome white interior was a reflection of “the collection’s themes of ease and elegance,” said the House. Each of the set’s elements was rented or reusable. Sam Case opened the show and Ali Dansky closed it.
Michael Kors ss24
September 11, 2023
The scene was a whitewashed boardwalk at Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, decorated with fuchsia bougainvillea. Romantic sounding instrumental music including ‘the look of love’ by Burt Bacharach, set the tone. ‘Barefoot glamor’ was the concept, based on the 60’s and 70’s styles of Jane Birkin, Jackie O et al, and Kors showed 65 looks, all signaling that era.
March 3, 2023
The Italian artist Lara Favaretto created brightly colored confetti cubes on a white runway, erected in the central courtyard of the Château De Vincennes, in Paris. Anderson was “out to trick the eye, (showing) simple white duchess satin shifts over-printed with blurry images. There were 51 looks in total. Xiru Yang opened the show. Ana Ros and Ida Aduke walked exclusively for Loewe.
Miu Miu ss24
October 3, 2023
The ss24 Miu Miu show was staged at the Palais d'Iena art museum in Paris. A new video installation by Qatari-American artist Sophia Al-Maria entitled ‘Gravity & Grace’, was shown in the background. According to show notes “It played into the influences behind the collection, which transmitted the past, shared the present and imagined the future.” There were 62 looks. The unconventional combinations of garments - apparently happy accidents of styling - were aimed, Mrs. Prada communicated in a press release, at an “embracing of unique characters, the joy of life.” Non-binary model, Maty Drazek, walked exclusively for Miu Miu.
Versace/Dua Lipa Pre-Fall 2023
May 24, 2023
The ‘see-now buy-now’ high-summer Versace Pre-Fall 2023 show, ‘La Vacanza’, was held at a villa in the hills above the bay of Cannes at the time of the Film Festival. Donatella Versace worked in collaboration with British-Albanian pop star Dua Lipa to execute the collection. Over 40 looks, including many updated Versace styles, were shown. Plenty of pink tones and sparkle was a nod to ‘Barbie’ in which Dua Lipa stars. Lolia Bahia opened the show; Denmark’s Mona Tougaard and Italy’s Vittoria Ceretti closed it.
Max Mara ss24
September 21 2023
Formed during World War I and mobilized anew for World War II, the Women’s Land Army aka The Land Girls were a vital part of the war effort. They were a source of inspiration for Ian Griffiths at Max Mara, complete with military-inspired rompers and utilitarian jackets. France’s Loli Bahia opened the show of 47 looks and Caroline Trentini from Brazil, closed it.
Christian Dior ss24
September 26 2023
Maria Grazia Chiuri’s goal has always been to marry fashion and feminism, and this season was no exception. The Italian artist Elena Bellantoni built a set in neon pink with yellow highlighting featuring strong feminist statements on the walls. Northern Ireland’s Alice McGrath opened the show of 78 looks, which ranged from wispy, cobwebby knitted lace dresses, the iconic Dior ‘Bar’ jacket was eased at the waist, and frayed at the hem and styles with asymmetrical shoulder lines. American model Ali Dansky closed the show.
Louis Vuitton m ss24
June 21 2023
For his debut Louis Vuitton men's show, Pharrell Williams was able to close off Paris’s oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf and cover its cobbled surface with the House’s Damier pattern in gold. In his notes Williams dedicated the show to his predecessor: Virgil Abloh. “This moment is dedicated to the giant before me. To our brother in spirit.” Music included the The Virginia choir Voice of Fire was singing loud about the subject of its Pharrell Williams composed song: “Joy (Unspeakable).” Tunji Obembe from Nigeria opened the show, which included 71 looks, many in pixelated camo, and the French model, Rayan Lazac, closed it.