New York Fashion Week officially kicks off today, and here at BAMIN (Build And Make It Now), we’re reminiscing about a time when fashion was less about the entertainment and more about the creatives.
We’re not gonna lie. We’ve definitely watched Catwalk, Christy Turlington’s fashion documentary, on repeat.
Catwalk follows Turlington’s life as she floats from city to city for the 1994 runways in Milan, Paris and New York (before London ranked alongside the original ‘Big Three’). But Robert Leacock’s documentary isn’t just about Turlington. Catwalk has delightful cameos from models Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni and Linda Evangelista, among others.

We can’t help feeling nostalgic when we see a baby-faced Kate Moss smoking backstage at a fashion show in Paris. Or giggle when Carla Bruni drunk dials her then boyfriend from a massive telephone. Nothing, however, quite tops Naomi Campbell falling off a couch while trying to light a cigarette.
There are quieter moments, like when Turlington sits down with Karl Lagerfeld to talk about his show, mixed in with the frenzy of John Galliano toiling away backstage for his namesake collection.
Despite Galliano’s recent troubles, there’s a certain joy in watching a young Galliano instruct Kate Moss on how she should bolt down the runway for his iconic, drop-dead-gorgeous S/S 1994 collection.
As André Leon Talley informs a journalist, “Is fashion ‘art’? No! Fashion is hard work. Gritty. It is not glamorous. This man [Galliano] has no money. He has done a great collection with very few funds. He’s been supported financially by very few people. This man has NO MONEY.”
Watching Catwalk, we get the sense that fashion week was more about the creative toil behind each beautiful collection and less about big business. Today, there’s a clear shift towards more shows (and designers) to generate more money—more events mean more people. After all, last February’s economic impact around the Lincoln Center alone amounted to $20,902,193.
Though quite a bit about fashion week has changed since the 90s, there’s a certain ethos that still rings true for us. Karl Lagerfeld, while waving his once-signature fan, tells a reporter, “I never dictate. I propose. Our job is to propose, and I try to do nothing else.”
We love looking back on fashion in the 90s, but we’re still excited to see what’s in store for the upcoming season—and what the most innovative designers have to “propose”.
It’s throwback Thursday, everyone! Curl up in bed tonight, and watch Catwalk on YouTube.
[Photo sources: 1]