Defining Moments in Fashion History: Iconic Runway Shows

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As the fashion industry continues to grow and evolve, certain runway moments have become iconic in the eyes of many. From the risque leotards of the 1968 Yves Saint Laurent collection to Alexander McQueen’s iconic S/S 99 show, these defining moments have left a lasting impression on the course of modern fashion. Here, we highlight some of the most memorable and memorable fashion shows throughout history that have changed the course of fashion forever.

1. Exploring the Landmark Runway Shows of Fashion

Fashion is an ever-changing industry, with new trends hitting the runway each year. Explore some of the most iconic, landmark runway shows that have made history in the fashion world.

  • Yves Saint Laurent’s 1971 Collection – Yves Saint Laurent’s collection from 1971 known as “Le Smoking” was the first ever trousers look for women. This collection revolutionised the world of fashion, and is considered a major turning point in terms of women’s fashion.
  • Marc Jacobs’ Grunge Show for Perry Ellis – In 1993, Marc Jacobs presented a now famous show of grunge pieces to the world for his collection under Perry Ellis, which was practically unknown at that point. His collection was unlike anything ever seen before, and marked a shift in fashion which resulted in a whole new look.
  • Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1985 Collection – Jean Paul Gaultier first presented his iconic collection in 1985, characterized by its use of lacework and other unique details. It was a collection that sparked controversy and was widely debated amongst fashion critics – but is still considered as a landmark moment in fashion, and his designs remain iconic even today.

These are three of the most iconic fashion shows of all time, and they have had a lasting impression on the fashion world since they first hit the runway. Yves Saint Laurent proved that a woman’s wardrobe doesn’t have to be confined to skirts and dresses, Marc Jacobs showed the world that bold style is powerful, and Jean Paul Gaultier showed that fashion can be artistic, risky and unique.

These landmark shows can still be seen today, influencing designs and trends globally. Next time you’re watching a runway show, take note of the history and drama behind each piece, and appreciate the creative minds behind them that revolutionised the fashion world.

2. Revisiting Defining Moments in Style History

The concept of ‘style history’ has been around for centuries. It’s the documentation of the ever-evolving history of fashion and design throughout the years. It’s important to keep track of our defining moments in style throughout this time. Here are a few of those moments that should be revisited and honoured:

  • The 1970s: Pucci, Halston, and Zandra Rhodes had their impact on the industry when it came to bright colors and patterns. They sparked the wild era of color and vibrancy that is seen in modern fashion today.
  • Vivienne Westwood: She carved her own niche in the style world with her bold, modern designs that were unlike anything else seen before.
  • The Minimalist Revolution: This was a movement towards clean and simple lines, as opposed to the over-the-top styles of the 80s and 90s. It was the beginning of a whole new era of style that is still popular today.

The 1980s also brought a whole new meaning to style history. It was the age of excess and the rise of the designer brand. The emergence of the power dressing made a huge impression on the industry, allowing designers to showcase their best work in an ostentatious way.

The ’90s was when gender boundaries were broken and the fashion world was infiltrated by the likes of Marc Jacobs and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Here was a whole new level of creativity in fashion and design that still influences our industry today.
Drawing inspiration from the extreme styles of the era, they helped define the movement towards a more inclusive and diverse environment.

The ’00s marked the age of technology and globalization. Social media and technology allowed the industry to reach new heights in fashion and design, creating an influx in fast fashion and online shopping trends. Not to forget, this era also witnessed the emergence of the accessories industry, with designers and brands paving the way for more modern and stylish bags and shoes.

Style history is something that should constantly be looked back on. It helps us to gain perspective on our industry and its progression through time. These defining moments in our style history have shaped the way we dress, shop, and look at fashion in the modern day and should be celebrated and remembered.

3. Influential Garments That Changed the Course of Fashion

Throughout fashion history, there have been garments, designers, and movements that have changed the course of fashion for the better. Here are 3 iconic garments that are still standing the test of time.

  • Little Black Dress: The Little Black Dress, popularized by Coco Chanel during the 1920s, was up until that point, an unheard of piece of clothing. By freeing women from tight corsets and billowing skirts of the Victorian Era, the Little Black Dress revolutionized how women dressed. Simple, elegant and timeless, it quickly became a wardrobe staple for many women.
  • Power Suits: In the 1970s, designer Giorgio Armani showed the world the power of the suit. Gone were the girly frills and puffy sleeves; power suits featured relaxed materials, fitted silhouettes, and straight lines for a sharp look. The power suit was a way for women to communicate strength and independence.
  • Revolutionary Jeans: Jeans have been at the forefront of the fashion industry since they were designed by Levi Strauss in the late 1800s, however it was in the 1950s when jeans were truly revolutionary. Teddy Boys popularized ripped denim and wore them to rebel against social norms; they also wore jeans as part of their uniforms to proudly show their individualistic style.

The power of fashion is undeniable and it’s these timeless garments that continue to have a lasting impact on society. They often transcend trends as they become staples that will never go out of style.

4. Iconic Designs That We Still Admire Today

Humans have come up with some truly creative designs over the years, and some of those designs have become icons in their categories. We still admire them today despite the passage of time, and it’s often fascinating what inspires the minds that conceive them.

Pininfarina Ferrari Testarossa features an iconic design. It’s the perfect blend of modern and classic elements, with a sleek body shape, long hood, narrow headlights, and massive rear spoiler. This design has a timeless appeal and can still turn heads today.

Apple iMac G3 is an iconic piece of computing hardware. It was one of the first all-in-one computer packages to gain massive popularity and it has a classic, chunky design that still looks great today. It also has some of the best built-in speakers of its time

Coca-Cola Bottle Design is one of the most iconic designs in the world and it’s still just as recognizable today as it was when it was first introduced in 1894. The contoured bottle design, which was created to resemble a coca leaf, has become an enduring classic.

Vans Shoes have a classic design that is still popular today. They were originally designed in 1966 and they have since become a staple of the skateboarding and sneaker communities. The timeless design of the original Checkerboard print is still popular today.

Lego Bricks were created in 1949 and they remain one of the most iconic designs ever created. The simple, interlocking brick system has inspired countless generations and has helped to create some amazing buildings, sculptures, and landscapes.

These defining moments in fashion history remind us how much power fashion has to make us cry out, cheer, shiver and believe. They act as a foundation to the ever-evolving fashion industry, paving the way for our future looks and pushing us to express ourselves through the colors, patterns and styles of our garments. It’s an exciting opportunity to look back to the past, to cherish the moments of the present and to embrace how our choices in fashion will shape the future.


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