Vogue World stepped in to revive the excitement and allure of the runways with a striking presentation of some of the industry’s most prominent designers.
To celebrate its 130th anniversary, the publication hosted Vogue World: New York, an ode to the magazine’s favorite designers, curated by Anna Wintour and her team. The show opened with a parade of marathoners representing different countries all over the world, signifying the global impact that Vogue has had for the last century-plus. September cover star and recently retired tennis legend Serena Williams modeled the first look of the night, a custom Balenciaga caped gown, followed by four young girls in white tennis dresses.
As the group strutted down 13th Street, a 2000 clip of the athlete played over the loudspeakers. “I want people to remember me as the girl who changed tennis or just was able to bring something new to the game,” Williams said.
Before guests could comprehend the historical significance of what had just happened, the true theatrics began. Wintour’s support for the theater is well-documented, but her love for it was made exceptionally clear by way of the full-blown production of models, dancers and stunt bikers that flooded the street.
What at first seemed like just another runway setup (but with a much larger budget) suddenly began to feel like a Broadway stage. Models dressed in head-to-toe luxury streetwear rushed onto the cobblestone taking selfies, following directions, walking dogs and talking on phones while attempting to weave in and out of each other — essentially, your average day on the New York City pavement, but in way better clothing. Looks like Gen-Z-approved Chopova Lowena skirts and Balenciaga‘s tinfoil-esque gowns danced down the streets of the Meatpacking District for an audience of industry icons and onlookers alike.
Dance groups paved the way for a legendary walk by Lila Moss, Emily Ratajkowski, Shalom Harlow, Kendall Jenner, Adut Akech, Precious Lee, Gigi Hadid and many more. Supermodels past and present cascaded down the pavement to the rhythm of Madonna‘s “Vogue,” pausing halfway for a brief dance move or two each. (Karlie Kloss even brought some classic vogueing to the stage.) Also on the runway: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Erykah Badhu, Hari Nef, Jeremy O. Harris, Brooklyn and Nicola Peltz Beckham.
And just when you thought it was over, Lil Nas X rose from his front-row seat to deliver a literally show-stopping performance of “Industry Baby.”
As Wintour tapped her foot along to the unmistakable horn section, the performer joined formation with both Hadid sisters and Williams to close out the runway. (If anyone had any doubt the legendary editor was a theater kid at heart, Vogue World proved them wrong.)
This season has seen many brands embrace tastes of dramaturgy in their collection debuts, such as Luar‘s play with mirrors and Collina Strada‘s butterfly reenactments. As New York Fashion Week nears its conclusion, Vogue World took the cake in crafting a passionate and revitalizing celebration of the fashion we have loved to digest through glimmering, glossy pages for over a century.
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