V&A Fashion in Motion

The Victoria and Albert Museum

Our live fashion events showcase contemporary collections by both established international names and up-and-coming fashion designers on real models

Fashion in Motion
Fashion in Motion is a series of live catwalk events presented at the V&A. Featuring some of the greatest designers of our time, Fashion in Motion brings catwalk couture to a wider audience by modelling it against the beautiful backdrop of the Museum.

In direct contrast to traditional museum fashion displays arranged on static mannequins, behind glass, and bound by conservation and preservation restrictions, designers are invited to showcase their work on models, injecting movement and life back into the display of clothing.

Each show is documented through film and photography, creating an immediate archive of contemporary fashion in the 21st century.

Philip Treacy, 19 May 1999
The first Fashion in Motion event featured models wearing dramatic Philip Treacy hats and Swarovski crystal dresses by designer Anthony Price. Treacy recalled of the event, "When they first approached me about the project, I thought it was just the maddest idea… But then people really got into it. They were all following the models around. The fashion collection at the V&A is beautiful but very static... I suppose this brings it to life a bit".
Alexander McQueen, 16 June 1999
The event showcased designs from McQueen's Spring/Summer 1999 collection, No.13, which was inspired by the late Victorian Arts and Crafts movement. It featured natural materials with designs constructed from wood, leather, lace and raffia and reflected McQueen's interest in craftsmanship. Interviewed during the event the designer said of the Museum, "It’s the sort of place I’d like to be shut in overnight". He recalled that while studying for his Masters in Fashion Design at Central Saint Martins, he would visit the Museum at least once a week to go through the archives.
Missoni, 28 November 2003
This retrospective show celebrated fifty years of Missoni and showcased a range of designs from the knitwear brand’s five decades in fashion. Models wore a range of garments featuring distinctive rainbow stripes and zigzags highlighting Missoni’s unique combination of colour and texture.
Christian Lacroix, 31 October 2006
This show featured looks from both Lacroix’s prêt-à-porter and haute couture lines of Autumn/Winter 2006/7. Inspired by Renaissance dress, the intricate embroideries and rich fabrics were fittingly displayed in the Museum’s Raphael Gallery. As with traditional haute couture shows, the presentation concluded with a model dressed in a spectacular bridal gown.
Gareth Pugh, 15 June 2007
Pugh’s unique and spectacular vision of fashion was presented against the backdrop of a giant black dancing ball. Always innovative in his choice of materials, models in gimp masks presented the designer’s dramatic silhouettes in fabrics including inflated PVC, perspex and latex. The selection of 27 designs from previous collections included Pugh’s celebrated balloon dress and his wind-up drummer girl. The show culminated in the appearance of a glowing electronic coat which illuminated the darkness of the gallery.
Ma Ke, 16 May 2008
Ma Ke, one of China’s foremost designers, launched her label Wuyong (Useless) in 2006, examining the subjectivity of the concept of 'uselessness'. Taking discarded items such as an old paint covered sheet, Ma Ke transforms it into a dress, the cracked paint creating a beautiful pattern on the garment, and an old tarpaulin is constructed into a coat of magnificent volume. Models were positioned on metre-high light-boxes and lit from above, to powerful effect.
Roksanda Ilincic, 21 November 2008
Inspired by the title ‘Fashion in Motion’, Roksanda Ilincic wished to promote the theme and introduce additional movement to that of the walking model. She worked with dancers from the English National Ballet to imbue her show with dramatic movement. Dancers in rich shades of fluid silk performed alongside models dressed in jewel-toned garments in an intense play of colour and motion.
Yohji Yamamoto, 1 July 2011
The show was held in conjunction with the V&A exhibition, Yohji Yamamoto. It featured the designer’s Spring/Summer 2011 collections, which were inspired by the V&A textile archives. As with many of Yohji Yamamoto’s shows, the Fashion in Motion event featured street-cast models. The casting mirrored that of the designer’s Spring/Summer 1999 shows where all of the models were real-life couples.
Meadham Kirchoff, 6 December 2013
Meadham Kirchhoff garnered critical acclaim for presenting beautiful, theatrical collections against intricately staged and often surreal settings. They chose a selection of personal highlights from their previous collections which included garments inspired by Courtney Love, Chanel, The Riot Grrrls and traditional portraiture. Benjamin Kirchhoff said; "We are very pleased to be involved with the V&A’s Fashion in Motion series. When approaching every collection or garment we secretly hope to make something worthy of being seen in a museum".
Ralph & Russo, 17 October 2014
London based couture house Ralph & Russo featured a selection of designs from their Autumn/Winter 2014 collection, shown at Paris Haute Couture Week. Regarding the opportunity to show to a wider audience, creative director Tamara Ralph and CEO Michael Russo said: "The Museum’s collection features the finest examples of artisanal craft and design, and these are essential elements of our work. We are looking forward to presenting the pieces to the public". Inspired by silhouettes of the 1940s and ‘50s, the collection included a spectacular finale wedding dress which took a cumulative 3,900 hours-worth of work to embroider.
Sibling, 21 November 2014
The Sibling label revolutionised knitwear in men's fashion. Their Fashion in Motion show was a retrospective of greatest hits, underlying their ethos that "today’s knitwear is more than novelty Christmas jumpers and grey V-necks;… it can be fun, joyful, rebellious and young at heart".
Grace Wales Bonner, 10 April 2015
Grace Wales Bonner’s show was accompanied by a live choir and featured work from two of her collections. Her SS15 graduate collection, Afrique, explored the legacy of Coco Chanel via the city of Lagos and her AW15 collection Ebonics was inspired by exoticism and depictions of the black male figure in 19th-century art. The designer noted "the V&A feels like the perfect space to present the hybridity in cultural representation, which I aim to explore through my work".
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