Ready to Wear: Purists frown on celebrities taking to the catwalks, but they raise a smile
Monday 21 September 2009
It's London Fashion Week's 25th anniversary and for anyone out there who has failed to notice... Where have you been? After all, here, there and everywhere pundits have been pin-pointing golden moments. These, though, are the Independent's personal best.
Among the finest fashion shows was Alexander McQueen, spring/summer 1999. The finale included former ballerina Shalom Harlow spinning on a pedestal as her white dress was sprayed with paint courtesy of two particularly menacing robots borrowed from Fiat. Paralympic runner Aimee Mullins (pictured) made her debut on the catwalk here too. Mullins, who lost both legs from the knee down in a car accident as a child, said that she'd always wanted to model but never thought, despite good looks, she would be given the chance. Requests came into the McQueen office following the show to order the cherry wood prosthetics worn by Mullins throughout – which were mistaken for a nice pair of boots.
Equal but different was Hussein Chalayan's After Words 2000 collection where the designer's by now famous table skirt was shown for the first time. Wear your own furniture? And why not? Chalayan is also known for having buried his entire degree collection in a friend's back garden to see how it would look half decomposed which surely gives new meaning to fashion's ongoing love affair with worn/aged clothes. Joan Burstein, the inspirational founder of the Browns boutique, gave up her entire South Molton Street window to it.
More recently, as an homage to disgraced athlete, Tonya Harding, designer Peter Jensen employed the services of a troupe of pre-pubescent ice skaters for an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza at no more predictable fashion destination than Queensway. Rosy cheeks, pigtails and frilly knickers rubbed shoulders with a particularly cute repeat fruit and vegetable print that included less than glamorous fodder from potatoes to turnips.
Fashion purists may frown upon celebrities taking to the catwalk – there's no better way to ensure an average collection attracts more than it's fair share of press, after all – but they certainly raise a smile.
The best of the bunch over the past twenty-five years came courtesy of Matthew Williamson who delivered a live performance on the catwalk by Prince and his backing singers, Twinz. Also in the running: Paris Hilton opening and closing Julien Macdonald's show and Victoria Beckham walking the walk for Maria Grachvogel at the height of the autumn/winter 2000 season. She wasn't very good at it, for the record. Only last season meanwhile, Jo Wood took to Dame Vivienne Westwood's catwalk. They're like astral sisters those two, really, they are – good-time girls dancing around their handbags together in another life. Marvellous.
Life & Style blogs
Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Everyone should watch this boy's reaction to learning he will be a big brother
Ashley Madison hack: Just three in every 10,000 female accounts on infidelity website are real
A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...