The disruption of the fashion week model and how presentations became the new runway

It’s fair to say that it’s been a funny fashion month so far this season. NYFW was dominated by conversations around seasonless collections, and how to reinvent the ticketed catwalk show; a fashion week staple. It seems that designers are in a bit of a quandary, how can they get people (read: consumers) excited about the shows? How quickly can they get the stock that trended on Twitter into their stores? And how can they make an exclusive event like the runway show, accessible without losing the glamorous feel, the front row editors reporting on it and the front row buyers shopping it?

Tommy Hilfiger experimented with its Instapit, where digital influencers captured the show live from their special seats, broadcasting it out to millions of followers,


while Jeremy Scott had a special row built into the runway so his influencers were seeing the collection and became a part of it.

But with the huge cost of production to create these gigantic runway shows, we’re also seeing another way emerge, designers opting for presentations instead of catwalks.

The presentation we can safely say is nothing new. Presentations have been a staple at London Fashion Week for many years, the preferred options for emerging design talent on limited budgets.

But now, in this digital age, where the consumer wants more, presentations have gone from being held in pale rooms with models lying about to become the main attraction and no-one does this better than LFW designer Parisian born Faustine Steinmetz.

Maybe it’s because she came from Paris, the land of couture, so the feel of the collection as a whole is more directional, with that true balance between art and fashion.


For this season AW16, her collection has become a talking point both on social media and offline. Her models were contained within boxes, with each box representing a different colour, and holes within the boxes for the audience to peer through into her magical world.

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Talking about the collection backstage to The Daily, Faustine said: “I wanted to do something fresh and say, ‘We’re going somewhere different.’ The idea was to do something a little bit absurd…What I really like is objects as sculpture.’

Faustine is definitely putting on captivating presentations, WGSN’s Catwalk editor Christa Kaufmann, fresh from seeing the collection, says: “This is a designer who doesn’t follow trends, but creates them and as such everything she curates from the set design to the clothes- has this unique personal touch that truly feels fresh and innovative.

‘The dynamic set is all part of the collection, the way in theatre a set is an integral part of the production’

So unlike with a runway show where the audience is sat there waiting for people to be seated and for the lights to go down, with a general feeling of ennui, we’re instead captivated, on the edge of our seats, wondering what we’re about to discover,” adds Christa.


What Faustine does with her dynamic presentations is show the possibility of presentations as a way to capture the imagination, do away with old catwalk structures and get consumers excited about the product she is putting out there.

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With NY based designers like DVF opting for presentations over catwalks too this season (with her celebrity fuelled model Insta-shoot party), I think we’re set to  see this preference for presentations over runway shows continue to grow and grow.

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