From the moment Rick Owens drove his custom bus into Milan, right through to North West’s debut rap appearance
As the AW20 fashion season comes to a close, we can’t help but wonder where the last two months have even gone (and when we finally get to schedule in a long-awaited nap).
With surprise appearances from Hayley Williams at Collina Strada, Arca at Burberry, and ofc North West at Yeezy, there were also Instagrammable moments in the form of Miley Cyrus making her runway debut at Marc Jacobs, a Balenciaga apocalypse during PFW, and Yolanda Hadid joining her daughters Bella and Gigi on the Off-White runway. And that's before we get started on the happenings that were so weird we couldn’t look away – yes, we’re talking about Charli D’Amelio’s Prada TikTok.
Throughout the usual fashion week madness, we were also surrounded by a sense of looming dread thanks to the coronavirus, as Seoul and Shanghai fashion weeks were cancelled, Armani – showing in Milan – decided to close its doors and opt for a virtual show instead, and face masks became the latest accessory.
In case you didn’t catch it all the first time round, here’s a handy cheat-sheet documenting some of the weirdest, wildest, and most controversial moments from the AW20 shows.
CAROLINE POLACHECK CLOSED OUT THE SHOW AT PUPPETS AND PUPPETS
Polacheck’s NYFW debut did not disappoint, as she closed out the show for Puppets and Puppets third ever fashion show this AW20 season. The singer, whose first solo album Pang dropped last year, looked like what she called “a silky cartoon”, as she took to the runway alongside a series of NYC artists, as part of the label’s avant-garde presentation.
MILEY CYRUS MADE HER RUNWAY DEBUT AT MARC JACOBS
Marc Jacobs and Miley Cyrus have a long history of collaborating – with the pair dropping a hoodie raising money for Planned Parenthood last summer, and Cyrus appearing in the designer’s SS14 campaign. This NYFW, however, they cranked things up a notch, as the singer added runway model to her CV, appearing as part of Jacobs’ AW20 show. The singer walked side-by-side with model Juno Mitchell, wearing a black on black look complete with leather gloves and a zebra jacket dragging on the floor behind her.
HAYLEY WILLIAMS THREW A CONCERT AT COLLINA STRADA
Hayley Williams decided to kick off her solo career at NYFW, dropping in for a surprise concert at Collina Strada’s AW20 show. The presentation essentially turned into a party as the singer took the stage to perform her single, “Simmer”, surrounded by plants and an inclusive range of models having a dance in Strada’s eco-friendly designs.
EXTINCTION REBELLION HELD A GUERRILLA SHOW
Last season, Extinction Rebellion proclaimed London Fashion Week was dead, staging a funeral for the quarterly event. This season, however, it was a group of teens from New York who took to the streets to protest. Holding a guerilla fashion show, the activists were dressed in sustainable and recycled looks, including an old repurposed McDonald’s bag.
VAQUERA SHUT DOWN DOVER STREET MARKET
Despite not appearing on the official NYC schedule, Vaquera staged a surprise runway show at New York’s Dover Street Market. Styled by Dazed’s Emma Wyman the label’s AW20 show drew inspiration from old school salon style shows, with models holding number cards as they made their way down the runway.
A CRAZY CAT LADY WALKED AT DILARA FINDIKOGLU
Dilara Findikoglu’s AW20 show was an ode to madness, with each look representing a different emotion the designer has experienced. With Chanel-esque tweed suits, slinky scarlet dresses, and even tinfoil hats on the agenda, rounding things off was one model wearing a look entitled ‘Destruction’, who carried a white cat in her arms as she walked. We’ve never wanted to be a crazy cat lady so badly.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS GAVE HER MODELS FLIP PHONES (AND WE’RE JEALOUS)
Starting the weekend off with a MAJOR throwback was Ashley Williams. Known for her offbeat collections, the designer sent models down the runway with 00s style flip phones tucked into tiny lilac printed mini-handbags, with Pixie Geldof even getting hers out to make a call at one point. As Paris Hilton would say, “That’s hot.”
GARETH WRIGHTON SENT JENNIFER LAWRENCE DOWN THE RUNWAY
Jennifer Lawrence made an appearance at Gareth Wrighton’s final Fashion East show – but no, she wasn’t walking the runway or sitting in the FROW. Instead, the designer printed the actress’ face onto a skateboard, which, absurdly enough, was by no means the most unusual thing to hit the catwalk. Wrighton also presented a look made out of 344 used makeup wipes, followed by a crown of cheetos, and a bowling pin-baby doll (casual).
MOLLY GODDARD RECREATED THE LAST SUPPER
This season, Molly Goddard built her show around the idea of growing up, featuring brightly coloured dresses overflowing with voluminous tulle that would make any child jealous. The show space, weirdly enough, was set to look exactly like DaVinci’s Last Supper painting, with a handful of guests seated at a long white table stocked full of baskets of bread and wine. TBH, we aren’t really sure why, but who could pass up free bread and wine in the FROW?
ARCA DJ’D AT BURBERRY
Venezuelan musician Arca has a history of working with some of the biggest names in music – FKA twigs, Kanye West, and Frank Ocean to name a few – but this LFW, she’s branching out into the fashion world for her newest collab with Burberry’s creative director Ricardo Tisci. The singer DJ’d the show, alongside two classical pianists, for Tisci’s newest collection entitled Memories, representing his experience of youth in England.
GUCCI PUT MODELS ON A MERRY-GO-ROUND
This season, Alessandro Michele decided to subvert the traditional catwalk presentation. From the invites came in the form of a Whatsapp voice note from Michele himself, to the actual show, where guests were given a behind the scenes preview of models getting ready in white robes. But it didn’t stop there, with the presentation itself taking place in a spinning glass showroom, where onlookers watched models change out of their white robes into the collection itself. With atelier staff and those who are typically behind the scenes on full view, this season the Italian house gave a new meaning to transparency in fashion. In the end, models left the showroom to take their final walk, while the house’s workers took their place.
DARIO ARGENTO SAT FRONT ROW AT MSGM’S NIGHTMARISH SHOW
The FROW gained a new famous face during Milan Fashion Week, as legendary filmmaker Dario Argento took his seat at MSGM. The show, dedicated to escapism from the world’s problems today (coronavirus fears included) featured brightly coloured prints based on the Italian director’s most famous films – Suspiria, Phenomena, and The Cat o’ Nine Tails, as a horror-worthy soundtrack by Goblin to set the scene.
JEREMY SCOTT SENT CAKES DOWN THE RUNWAY AT MOSCHINO
Earlier this month, Lizzo walked the red carpet at the Brit Awards in a Hershey’s chocolate bar AW14 Moschino dress, and, with hindsight, it actually turned out to be a hint of what was to come just a couple of days later. Drawing inspiration from Marie Antoinette, for AW20 Jeremy Scott sent Kaia Gerber, Gigi and Bella Hadid, and Joan Smalls down the runway dressed as pastel 18th century cakes, complete with pearl accessories and hair piled high on their heads. Let them wear Moschino, we guess?
CHARLI D’AMELIO TAUGHT MODELS A TIKTOK DANCE AT PRADA
Whether we like it or not, TikTok has officially taken over 2020 – apparently even at Milan Fashion Week. Charli D’Amelio, a member of TikTok royalty with over 30 million followers, flew to the Italian city, donned a head-to-toe Prada look and filmed a TikTok video with three models dancing to “What the Hell” by Avril Lavigne prior to the show. We’re as confused as you are.
THE RICK OWENS TOUR BUS CAME TO MILAN
Rick Owens and Moncler brought a whole new meaning to fashion collabs this MFW, as the designer drove a custom-made tour bus all the way to Milan. Making its debut as part of Moncler’s monumental showcase alongside collections by the likes of Craig Green and Simone Rocha, the bus, originally created to house the designer and his wife on a trip around the American west coast, is even available to order – for all the Rick Owens superfans out there.
DEMNA GVASALIA RANG IN THE APOCALYPSE AT BALENCIAGA
This fashion season was frantic: between the panic surrounding coronavirus and the ever-escalating climate crisis, it kind of felt like the world was ending. Leave it to Demna Gvasalia and Balenciaga, then, to show us exactly what fashion week might look like in 50 years if we continue on our current trajectory. With water flooding up to the first three rows and smoke, fire, and fleeing birds projected onto the ceiling, the presentation was a dramatic depiction of the apocalypse – with a succession of really good clothes at its heart.
A BUNCH OF DEBBIE HARRY LOOKALIKES TOOK OVER THE RUNWAY
This PFW, Junya Watanabe turned his runway into a tribute to Debbie Harry, with look alike models storming the runway in messy platinum wigs, smeared red lipstick, and punk tulle and leather dresses, all the while Blondie played in the background. The show followed Debbie Harry’s IRL appearance at Coach’s show in New York.
YOLANDA HADID WALKED FOR OFF-WHITE
It’s no secret that the Hadid sisters are some of the biggest names in fashion rn, but this season, in Paris, it was their mum Yolanda taking the spotlight and trading in reality TV to return to her modeling roots at Off-White. Walking alongside Bella and Gigi at Virgil Abloh’s AW20 show, we definitely aren’t complaining about an extra Hadid on the runway — maybe Anwar can join next season for a full family reunion?
NORTH WEST MADE HER RAP DEBUT AT YEEZY
Kanye West’s daughter, North West, took centre stage at the Yeezy AW20 show. While models took their final walk in the brand’s classic minimalist athleisure-wear, the six-year-old stood in an all-Yeezy outfit and performed a truly iconic rap. “You know my name is Northy,” and, “What are thoooose?” she sang – definitely a different vibe than the Sunday Service, but at least Kanye was smiling.
JILL KORTLEVE MADE A SMALL BIT OF HISTORY WALKING FOR CHANEL
Chanel may be one of the top luxury Paris houses, but their lack of body diversity can often leave them falling behind when it comes to fashion inclusivity. For its latest AW20 show, Dazed 100-er Jill Kortleve made big steps for the brand, walking as the first plus sized model to make an appearance since 2010. The model wore a full black velvet look, accented by pearl buttons and thick jewel bracelets.