Most Memorable Runway Moments Ever

We've rounded up a slew of our favorite dramatic ones from over the years.
Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2010: The Lohan Season
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Emanuel Ungaro Spring 2010: The Lohan Season
When celebrities branch out into fashion design, the results tend to fall into one of two camps: resounding successes—as seen with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row and Victoria Beckham’s eponymous label—or huge flops. Lindsay Lohan’s brief stint as artistic advisor at Emanuel Ungaro certainly falls into the latter category. (There were sequined, heart-shaped pasties, people.) And the label’s Spring 2010 collection designed by Estrella Archs was unanimously deemed a disaster. Even though the beloved Giles Deacon has since taken the helm at the fashion house, Ungaro still hasn’t quite recovered.
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Moncler Flash Mob, Fall 2011
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Moncler Flash Mob, Fall 2011
Who says you need an actual runway to show your clothes during Fashion Week? Outerwear label Moncler decided to go the guerrilla route and organized a flash mob—complete with 150 dancers decked out in ski gear and puffy coats—in the middle of Grand Central Station. How trendy!
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Dyed Poodles at Isaac Mizrahi, Fall 2011
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Dyed Poodles at Isaac Mizrahi, Fall 2011
The whole “model as muse” thing is nothing new, but when Isaac Mizrahi sent poodles dyed cotton-candy colors down the runway for his Fall 2011 show, it took on a whole new meaning. The human models wore gigantic pom-pom headbands and walked alongside pooches colored orange, blue and pink, while men in chef’s coats carried intricately decorated cakes to match the collection.
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Icebergs at Chanel, Fall 2010
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Icebergs at Chanel, Fall 2010
You never quite know what kind of stunt Karl Lagerfeld is going to pull when it comes to his lavish Parisian runway shows for Chanel, but for his Fall 2010 spectacle, he shipped a 265-ton iceberg from Sweden to the Grand Palais. The show was meant to be a social statement about global warming, but you’d never know—the iceberg was a pitch perfect backdrop to a collection filled with faux fur Yeti suits and snow boots.
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Kate Moss Hologram at Alexander McQueen, Spring 2006
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Kate Moss Hologram at Alexander McQueen, Spring 2006
In the winter of 2005, Kate Moss found herself in quite a bit of trouble with the law (does the nickname Co-Kate ring a bell?) and was getting some pretty bad press from running around with her on-and-off rocker boyfriend Pete Doherty. Alexander McQueen thought of the perfect way to honor his dear friend who had fallen on some hard times, and to close the Fall 2006 show, a hologram of Kate Moss appeared over the runway. The audience looked on in wonder as a cloud of smoke unfurled to reveal the model dancing in a tattered silk dress, and this dreamlike vision will undoubtedly go down in fashion history.
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Fendi Show on the Great Wall of China, Spring 2008
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Fendi Show on the Great Wall of China, Spring 2008
Nobody does a fashion show better (and bigger!) than Karl Lagerfeld, and if you don’t believe us, look back to October 2007 when The Kaiser staged a runway show for Fendi on the Great Wall of China. The $10 million production spanned two days in Bejing, showed 88 Fendi looks and drew in VIPs—like Kate Bosworth and Julia Restoin-Roitfeld—from all over the world.
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Marching Band at Marc Jacobs, Spring 2006
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Marching Band at Marc Jacobs, Spring 2006
Marc Jacobs’ first career-defining moment was his grunge collection for Perry Ellis in 1992, but for his Spring 2006 runway show, Jacobs went from “Smells Like Teen Spirit” to school spirit when he enlisted the Penn State marching band to introduce the collection. It just so happens that the band—decked out in full uniform, mind you—performed a Nirvana tune before the models started to walk down the runway, once again proving that in fashion, things always come full circle.
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Coco Rocha's Irish Jig at Jean Paul Gaultier, Fall 2007
Here’s a fun fact about Canadian model Coco Rocha: She was discovered at an Irish dancing competition when she was 15 years old. So, it’s only fitting that Jean Paul Gaultier cast her in his Scottish Highlands-inspired Fall 2007 show, dressed her in a kilt and sent her step-dancing down the runway. Coco’s jig got the crowd cheering before they even saw any of the clothes, but the collection filled with tartan plaids and perfect outerwear definitely lived up to the fanfare.
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Johnny Weir Skates at Elise Overland
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Johnny Weir Skates at Elise Overland
It’s often snowing in New York when the Fall/Winter collections are presented during Fashion Week, but it’s extremely rare that a designer shows his or her collection outside, let alone on an outdoor ice skating rink. Elise Øverland did just that for her Fall 2011 show, and not only did a number of the models have to strap on a pair of skates and glide across the ice in the designer’s creations, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir took to the ice wearing the collection’s finale look.
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Alexander McQueen Dons a Bunny Suit, Spring 2009
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Alexander McQueen Dons a Bunny Suit, Spring 2009
In an effort to bring his audience’s attention to the deteriorating state of our environment, the models in Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2009 show shared the runway with a whole gang of taxidermied animals, including a lion, a tiger, an elephant, and a giraffe! In honor of these furry friends, the designer took his bow wearing a bunny suit, injecting a bit of his signature dark humor into his show’s serious subject matter. Speaking of serious, this was the very runway show in which one of our favorite models, Abbey Lee Kershaw, collapsed from wearing a too-tight corset.
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Christian Dior Haute Couture, Spring 2004
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Christian Dior Haute Couture, Spring 2004
The name John Galliano has always been synonymous with flamboyance and drama (both good and bad), and his Egypt-inspired Spring 2004 haute couture collection for Christian Dior is one of the best examples of his showmanship. From gold lame gowns to King Tut and Queen Nefertiti-esque headpieces to full skirts shaped like pyramids, Galliano clearly demonstrated why he’s a master of his craft.
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