We saw a lot of variation in runway sets and themes during New York Fashion Week, with many being of the dreamlike sort. And H&M’s debut of its latest collection at Paris Fashion Week was a particular breath of dreamy fresh air — featuring a live band, and (gasp!) smiling models (well, more of an “I’m not dead inside” smirk — but it's progress!).
Why is this so awesome? Well, for starters, we’re getting a little tired of the vacant glare most runway models sport. Who actually walks around like that?! Seeing women wearing sexy clothes with confident, coy expressions makes much more sense to us (and is infinitely sexier to most men as well) than sullen sour-faces wafting down the catwalk.
H&M got us thinking — why don’t designers try more free-spirited approaches to presenting their creations? Why has the blank stare become the industry standard in model gazing?
"On the catwalks, fashion now takes centre stage, rather than the girls, as had sometimes been the case in the 1990s. In the 1990s, people were waiting to see models' emotions. Today, that's very different. It's more than anything else about doing the job well." -Claudia Schiffer, 2007
Perhaps we’re to blame; back in 2006 when John Galliano presented a collection via oddball models (little people, twins, giants, etc.) who actively interacted on the runway, the designer was criticized for an excessive presentation that allegedly detracted from the true focus: the clothing.
Maybe in order for us to see the runway liven up a bit, we ourselves need to relax. The overwhelming majority of haute couture translates into gibberish when placed in the real world, so why don’t we take more advantage of this creative space for fantastical exploration?!
We’re hoping H&M’s gentle entry into the world of higher-energy runway shows (read: shows featuring happier-looking models) opens the door for more daring attempts.