Who Wears Runway Clothes?
You might see runway pieces worn by celebrities or see them in a magazine, but chances are they don’t look the same on you as they do on a model. That’s because they’re usually altered to fit a certain body type or look more streamlined for everyday wear.
Runway clothes are like concept cars, outlandishly overdone versions of what designers produce for real people. So, who actually wears them?
Fashion designers showcase their creations, the type that you would never wear in a normal setting, at fashion shows. These are akin to concept cars; they are not practical, but serve to explore the designer’s aesthetic and push the boundaries of fashion trends. Ultimately, these discoveries trickle down into the designer’s ready-to-wear line, which is what people actually buy and wear.
During a fashion show, models walk the runway wearing the clothing that the designer has created. The order in which they walk is carefully planned to create a narrative for the audience. Afterwards, the models usually keep the clothes and use them for other fashion shows and events.
Celebrities also occasionally wear straight-off-the-runway outfits, but they usually make minor alterations to accentuate their own bodies and styles. This has caused some controversy, as some critics believe that showcasing unwearable garments on the runway promotes unrealistic beauty standards and contributes to objectification of women. In addition, some of the materials used in these garments can be environmentally harmful.
The fashion industry is a celebrity-driven beast. It’s the main reason why shows are so incredibly exclusive and why people are always clamoring for seats in the front row of whatever is happening.
Celebrities can also be the backbone of a show – bringing a lot of attention to the designer and its pieces, particularly if they’re a bigger star. But they can also bring controversy and drama with their head-turning outfits.
One example of this was when YouTuber prankster MGK crashed the Creators Inc. fashion show during New York Fashion Week in a clear plastic poncho, pink shower cap and orange shorts. He was quickly kicked out by security.
Some designers even invite celebrities to be the models in their shows. They do this because they know that celebrities will draw more attention and interest to the brand. It can work for them too — for instance, when actor Kyle MacLachlan opened and closed the Prada show wearing two outfits that matched his own punk rock style.
Fashion designers use runway outfits to show off their style and create a base for their actual collections. This way, they can see how their ideas work on real people and make adjustments accordingly. This is why we often see celebrities wearing straight-off-the-runway looks – they’re the perfect test of how an idea will look on someone else.
Designers also pay for celebrities to attend their shows because they bring press coverage, which is hard to get when dozens of shows happen every day during fashion week. They also want to impress the buyers in attendance, so they put their most promising models in front of them.
Critics of the fashion industry argue that showcasing unwearable garments on the runway promotes unrealistic beauty standards and contributes to the objectification of women’s bodies. They also point out that runway fashion is expensive and inaccessible to many consumers. But some of the designs showcased at fashion shows survive and get worn by regular people after the fashion show is over.
If you think about it, runway clothes aren’t meant to be practical for the masses. They are pieces of art that push the limits of creativity. They are meant to be dramatic, expressive, demonstrative, and even shocking. This is why fashion shows are often so bizarre.
In the past, stores would stock their shelves slightly ahead of season, so that customers could buy what they saw on the runway in advance. But this practice has shifted in recent years, as customers have complained about the lack of inventory at some stores and prefer to shop at discount outlets.
In an effort to satisfy this demand, some brands have made their runway collections shoppable online. Rent the Runway is one such company that offers a service where customers can rent clothes from a designer show for a certain amount of time. Other companies have taken the concept further, allowing consumers to directly buy clothes straight off the runway.