Why Aren’t Runway Shows Like This Anymore?

The birth of the supers—models of the 1990s whose prevalence made them synonymous with the decade’s style—hit the runway with a walk that forever changed fashion. Fun, flirty, and, of course, fierce, each catwalk was a stages to make one’s mark. Consequently, the clothes didn’t wear the models, the models wore them.


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Personality has long-since fallen out of fashion’s favor. We watched, complicit, as the ’00s ushered in the era of human coat hangers, each brand representative trotting stone-faced down the runway—their goal to be as memorably nondescript as possible. Perhaps the only catwalk left that deviates from this mandate is Victoria’s Secret, and still, but the result is such performative femininity little room is left for authenticity.


But we will always have the glory days, and with the Internet, they live on. Calvin Klein’s 1993 show at mens fashion week showed a range of underwear-donned beefcakes delivering a finale we now could only dream of—arms raised, shirts removed, wife beaters ripped with uninhibited glee. We were in the last days before the rise of heroin chic altered beauty standards for the next decade and then some, and buff bodies reigned.



And who could forget the trademark cheekiness of McQueen, 1996?


But the latest, and perhaps, greatest example of commanding the catwalk came via DSquared2’s Spring 2005 show. Russian model Kristina Tsirekidze’s walk was so memorable—and meme-able—that it will go down in history as one of the best runway performances of all time. Strutting towards cameras, she licks her lips, ruffles her hair, and pulls at her hemline before lowering the back of her dress to reveal a matching thong. It was, for lack of a better word, iconic.  


Let us allow these moments to live on forever, and campaign that fashion takes itself a lot less seriously in the 2020s.

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