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The view from the front row: a history of the fashion show – photo essay15 Feb 9:20am

The view from the front row: a history of the fashion show – photo essay

The Guardian
Once, photographers were banned from fashion shows, with designers suspecting they were spies. Today, fashion shows are a multimillion-dollar global business. As London fashion week begins, we cart the evolution of the fashion show, from secret salons to the snap-happy Instagram era Most fashion shows last less than 10 minutes, but have the power to transport an audience to another world. There’s an intensity to a great show, a distillation of a designer’s extraordinary vision. Once upon a time, though, things were a lot humbler. The intimate salon shows of Chanel in the 1950s bear no resemblance to Karl Lagerfeld’s fully-stocked supermarket in the vast Grand Palais in 2014. The main change is scale – along with location, set production, and budget. From John Galliano’s historical dramas at Christian Dior, to Hussein Chalayan’s theatrical impossibilities and the late Alexander McQueen’s gothic, heart-stopping wonders, we chart how the fashion show developed from low-key to king.
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