1997 Fashion Big Bang
1997 was both a high point of 1990s fashion and the gateway to the new millennium. It brought a flurry of collections, shows, new appointments, openings and events that defined the fashion scene as we know it today. Such was its impact that 1997 can be thought of as the launching pad for 21st century fashion.
1997 was notable for a number of emblematic collections: bodies deformed by Comme des Garçons with the Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body collection, Martin Margiela’s conceptualised garments in the Stockman collection, and Raf Simons’s redefinition of the canons of male beauty in the Black Palms collection.
The magazine Vogue Paris defined the 1997 Spring-Summer haute couture season as the ‘Big Bang’ that Paris needed in order to regain its place as the international capital of fashion in an era of economic crisis and intense global competition. But there’s no denying that 1997 was a vintage year. It saw the arrival in haute couture of star designers from the 1980s, such as Jean Paul Gaultier and Thierry Mugler, while the legendary French fashion houses were taken over by a new generation of British designers, with Alexander McQueen at Givenchy and John Galliano at Christian Dior.