From plexiglass scaffolding at Fendi to a Pegasus-winged structure at Alexander McQueen, fashion show venues are fast becoming as much a spectacle as the shows themselves.
Here we look at the cream of the crop from the Spring/Summer ’08 ready-to-wear shows at Paris and Milan.
Ralph Lauren, Spring/Summer '08
The film classic 'My Fair Lady' was the theme, and provided the inspiration for the backdrop, which lifted at the end of the show to reveal a fountain and candle-lit atrium where guests were treated to a lavish dinner.
Jil Sander, Spring/Summer '08
Raf Simons opted to show his collection in a more intimate venue this season: the Jil Sander showroom.
Prada, Spring/Summer '08
The result of another Prada - Rem Koolhaas collaboration. Guests sat on green foam cubes arranged in a maze formation.
Image: Phil Meech
Gucci, Spring/Summer '08
The new Gucci by Gucci fragrance television commercial by David Lynch was projected on the walls before the show.
Marni, Spring/Summer '08
Marni preferred a clean white industrial space, to leave the clothes to speak for themselves.
Fendi, Spring/Summer '08Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi’s executives spent hours deliberating on whether or not to have bubbles inside the transparent glass tubes that snaked their way through the plexiglass scaffolding, at their Milan showspace, a converted garage.
An enchanted garden of flowers and plants and ribbons were suspended from the ceiling at Kenzo.
Chanel, Spring/Summer '08
Is it a Zaha Hadid or a Richard Serra? No, just a giant pair of papillons, or bow ties, in blue resin, 2.5 metres high, below the vast dome of the Grand Palais.
Alexander McQueen, Spring/Summer '08
A giant structure of Pegasus wings provided the backdrop for the Alexander McQueen show. LED lighting spread through its body and wings like a virus and then pulsated like a bird flapping its wings in flight.
Louis Vuitton, Spring/Summer '08
Artist Richard Prince’s Pulp Romance novel covers (such as The French Riviera After Dark and New York After Dark) covered both exterior walls and the interior ceiling of the tent in the Cour Carrée du Louvre and inspired the the eclectic and varied collection.
Galliano, Spring/Summer '08
A ramshackle seaside resort was the backdrop for Galliano's show - a merry-go-round, balloons, Chinese lanterns, and torn-up newspapers all contributed to the magical, slightly frenetic fairground atmosphere.
Miu Miu, Spring/Summer '08
Inspired by the film 'Performance', the show featured projections of images from Swan Lake at the Royal Opera House in London to festivals in New Mexico.
Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer '08
Located at the Grand Palais, the show featured an orderly queue of giant balloons.
Viktor & Rolf, Spring/Summer '08
At Viktor & Rolf, models took to the runway by walking through a wall-sized image of a wide-open mouth.
Stella McCartney, Spring/Summer '08
At the entrance to Stella McCartney’s catwalk was a sumptuous vertical garden, built in collaboration with French botanist Patrick Blanc, that included more than 20 species of plant and will be donated to a low income housing project in Boulogne.
Lanvin, Spring/Summer '08
Strings of fairground bulbs and pre-show ice creams put guests in the mood for one of our favourite shows of the season.