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Hattie Lloyd 09/07/24

Vogue: Inventing the Runway

When the people at Vogue and the people at Lightroom put their heads together to dream up an exhibition about catwalks, they must have thought one thing.

This idea has legs.

And those legs will probably be a staggering 6m tall when they’re projected onto the vast walls of the digital art space in King’s Cross, which has already hosted two blockbuster exhibitions (The Moonwalkers and David Hockney: Bigger and Closer) since opening in 2023.

Vogue: Inventing the Runway will be their third show, opening on 25th October. Making use of the magazine’s extensive archives, it’ll bring together footage from the elegant salons of the 1950s to the dazzling extravaganzas of the 21st century to immerse you in the history and evolution of the catwalk. The idea is to explore how fashion shows have always reflected contemporary culture, technology and politics, as well as embodying the vision of the designers behind them.

So you’ll get to sit in the front row and slip backstage at momentous shows by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Gucci, Yohji Yamamoto, Miu Miu, Prada, Hussein Chalayan, Vivienne Westwood and more. There’ll be interviews with some of the fashion industry’s biggest figures, including designers, models and editors (it’s fair to assume that Anna Wintour will make at least one appearance). And in quintessential Lightroom style, there’ll be custom animations and a bespoke soundtrack to weave all this footage together in one breathtaking, 360° documentary.

There’s no shortage of bonkers fashion stunts to draw on, from Karl Lagerfeld’s pop art supermarket where models strolled down the aisles shoplifting Chanel-branded products, to Alexander McQueen’s 2006 show which used a Victorian theatre trick to conjure Kate Moss as a floating ghost. The runway has gone from a small-scale event to show clothing in motion to a multimedia extravaganza, with live orchestras, enormous sets, and tightly policed guest lists.

And the good news is, you’re very much invited to this one.


NOTE: Vogue: Inventing the Runway opens on 25th October. Tickets cost £25 – you can book on the Lightroom website now.

Lightroom, Lewis Cubitt Square, London, N1C 4DY

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Vogue: Inventing the Runway

Lightroom, Lewis Cubitt Square, King's Cross, N1C 4DY