Designers like Brandon Maxwell, Christian Siriano and Christopher John Rogers eschewed the usual dead-eyed walk for some fun, old-school glamour.
Welcome to our column, “Hey, Quick Question,” where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
We’re not sure exactly what triggered the death of personality on the runway, but for the most part, models just don’t walk the way they did in the ’90s. During the heyday of the supermodel, ladies like Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington and Linda Evangelista always put a little something extra into their catwalk (back when people called it a catwalk). There might be a twirl or two mid-runway, with a long stare or flirty smile and pose at the end. They put themselves into the walk, while, for the past couple of decades, models have acted more or less like walking mannequins. And we’re not blaming the models here: It’s typically the designers who give them directives as to the mood of the show.
But as with most things in fashion, the pendulum may be starting to swing back the other way. For the past few years, there’s always been the occasional exception: Stella McCartney’s runway dance party and H&M’s grinning girls, for example. But we’ve never seen so many exceptions so early in the season. In just the first few days of New York Fashion Week, Brandon Maxwell, Christian Siriano and Christopher John Rogers collectively infused more joy, attitude and drama into the runway than we usually see through all of fashion month.
At Rogers’ show, models swanned down the runway in his extravagant designs, posing along the way. At Siriano’s, Coco Rocha — whom you don’t hire unless you want a little drama — positively strutted, stopping occasionally for dancer-like movements full of attitude. And Maxwell’s runway was a full-blown celebration, with one Irina Shayk doing the classic model twirl full justice.
We think it’s fair to speculate that the popular show “Pose” might have inspired these “ball”-like situations, while a more cynical take could be that it’s all for the ‘gram. But regardless, each show served as a very welcome reminder that fashion can, and should, be fun. Here’s hoping, for all of our sakes, that this trend continues through October.