Ever since Gucci sent a zoo’s worth of reptiles down the runway this season, not to mention a few severed heads, I’ve kept a running list on my phone of all the weird things models have carried over the course of fashion month. I felt that someone needed to thoroughly chronicle this fascinating chapter in fashion history so that, in the future, when our future ancestors are reading about the Fall/Winter 2018 collections with 4-D glasses, they’ll know exactly what went down and why.
Why. The question of the hour! Why were this season’s collections accompanied by a preponderance of objects, some living and some not, that had no obvious connection to the clothes themselves, and what does it say about the current state of fashion? If you subscribe to the theory that great fashion takes a minimum of six months to fully digest, an uncomfortable reality given our culturally-ingrained desire for instant gratification, then perhaps these gimmicks were planted as a means of capturing our attention from the outset — a vehicle for immediate surprise and delight. (So you don’t quite understand the clothes yet? That’s okay! You will eventually! Here’s a dragon to look at in the meantime!!!) They could also be a strategic play for the clickbait-y headlines and buzzy social media coverage to which puppies are accustomed and fashion is typically not.
Regardless, these unusual “props” have been a whole lot of fun to tally. Enjoy the below list and let me know if I missed any gems.
1. A Giant Rosary at Vaquera
We’re starting a social campaign to have the @vaquera.nyc Fall 2018 collection represented in the Costume Institute’s annual exhibition, “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” If you agree post your favorite look from the collection with the hashtag #VaqueraForTheMet! – Photo by @gesus___
This entire collection featured plenty of Christian references and iconography, from a reconfigured altar server’s surplice to a bedazzled nun habit, but the final look stole the show: a wedding gown festooned with enough fluffy frosting to rival the most arduously constructed cupcake, accessorized with a rosary so big the model had to cradle it in her elbow crooks.
2. Severed Heads at Gucci
Out of all the unexpected runway prop possibilities you might stretch your imagination to consider, would you ever in a million years dedicate even a tiny corner of mental space to severed heads? If the answer to that hypothetical question is yes, I don’t know whether to be impressed or terrified.
3. Dragons and Reptiles at Gucci
If you thought severed heads couldn’t be topped, how about a baby dragon with a cohort of similarly scaly pals? At first I thought there was a staffing mixup backstage between Gucci and the HBO set for Game of Thrones, but apparently the whole mythical infant creature thing was part of Alessandro Michele’s masterful plan to wow us into stunned speculation on where and how to order a dragon egg on Amazon Prime.
4. Plastic Bags at Ashish
I’m pretty thrilled that plastic grocery bags showed up on the runway because I’m obsessed with saving them (in fact, I’ve never felt more understood than when my roommate purchased a “plastic bag sleeve” specifically designed for my plastic bag storage). I’ve probably accumulated at least 100 at this point which means I now own 100 It bags. How much do you think they’ll sell for on eBay?
5. Rolled-Up Blankets at Mother of Pearl
I’m so glad impromptu picnics are trending for Fall 2018. It’s a really wonderful thing when you can be both fashionable and prepared (to pop a squat on some grass and eat salami) at the same time. Suggestion for next season: cargo blankets, a combination of blankets and cargo pants replete with pockets for storing salt and pepper packets and other sundries.
6. A Stuffed Panda at Dolce & Gabbana
I’ve always wanted to live in a world in which mother-daughter style icons can carry their respective stuffed companions with pride, as if toting the most precious of jewels. With a single sartorially-approved panda, Dolce & Gabbana made that dream a reality.
7. Real, Live Puppies at Tod’s
I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST: LIVE PUPPIES. As in, living, breathing, licking, panting puppy dogs, nuzzled against the diaphragms of a handful of lucky models at the Tod’s show. I did some digging on Google to see where the puppies came from but couldn’t find any information. I really hope they were rescues. If their runway debut tempts you to adopt, I’ve heard great things about Louie’s Legacy.
What’d I miss?
Images via Vogue Runway.