With the commercial scope of the once industry-only catwalk presentations increasing in line with an uptick in live-streaming and direct-to-consumer catwalk commerce, the runway spaces themselves hold ever-richer relevance. Offering a wealth of marketable visual merchandising ideas, we review the key visual themes to emerge from the A/W 16/17 ready-to-wear catwalks.
Twisted Fairy Tales and Fragile Times
Charm of Distortion
Mirrors, particularly those with a fun-house quality, were used to dramatic effect, breeding wildly beautiful yet often unnervingly distorted visuals that delivered intrigue and unease.
See The Thrill of Illusion in Sensory Brand Spaces: Illusion, Disruption & Reaction for more on how using disrupted, sometimes aesthetically jarring designs drive a new understanding of the age-old retail mantra of surprise and delight.
Playing on another hot topic, the melding of machine with the synthetic and the organic, several designers used technology to augment or fabricate ideas pooled from the natural world, resulting in some dramatically dystopian show spaces.
For more on creating spectacle through tech, see Digi-Space: Content & the Society of Spectacle in our coverage of Retail Design Expo 2016.
A perennial fashion show favourite, 3D structures delivered still-useful spatial perimeters for the catwalks, inviting movement beyond the standard linear model walk and providing plenty of ideas for in-store design.
See also A/W 16/17 Catwalk Communications: Digital Innovations and Fashion Week Beauty Pop-Ups for engagement tactics and new brand spin, and Catwalks for our key product-focused overview.