Follow TV Tropes


Fashion Show

Go To

A group of elegant models wear a designer's new line of clothes and accessories at a posh gala event while the crowd of guests and fashion photographers gets a good look at them. Usually the fashion models walk and pose one at a time down a raised aisle known as a catwalk, but this can also be done by unveiling a series of tableaux one by one.

The most important shows are in Paris, London, Milan, Berlin and New York City. In addition to the models, the show may include lighting effects, video screens and music. The audience often includes Fashion Magazine editors, The Beautiful Elite, movie and music celebrities, The Fashionista, and socialites who want to see and be seen. The combination of supermodels on the catwalk and A-list celebrities in the audience draws paparazzi.

In live action stories, it shows off what a good costume department can do, and gives the audience an opportunity to admire attractively-garbed characters in a glamorous setting. In fiction, it's likely that an important character is either designing the clothes or modeling them. Otherwise a key event in the story is happening at the fashion show. In a thriller or spy story, the MacGuffin or Plot Coupon may show up here.

Or if not, fashion shows are often a chance for the film's costume designer to let rip and try something high-fashion-y snd avant-garde. Often the clothes will be Impractically Fancy Outfits, more meant to show off the designer's abilities and tastes than to actually be worn (doesn't stop some eccentric people from that anyway). Some fictional fashion shows will use the haute couture fashion wear as an opportunity for Sexy Walk, Leg Focus and fanservice.

This was very popular in old movie musicals, and still is popular in Side-Story Bonus Art.

Compare Beauty Contest, Contrapposto Pose, Costume Porn, Fashion-Shop Fashion Show, Fashion Magazine, Rule of Glamorous, Supermodel Strut.


    open/close all folders 

  • The infamous Catwalk PIF from the Respect for Animals (formerly Lynx) organization depicts a bunch of furcoat-wearing models parading around on a catwalk before blood suddenly starts exploding from their dresses and onto the audience, while the sounds of animals screaming are played.
  • Featured in the 2009 commercial for Busch Gardens' Howl-O-Scream event. The ad shows a group of supermodels that, while on the catwalk, reveal that they're blood-thirsty vampires and slaughter the spectators.
  • Parodied in the "Soviet Fashion Show" commercial for Wendy's from back in The '80s, with a large helping of the now mostly forgotten Ugly Slavic Women trope.

    Anime & Manga 
  • An episode of Wedding Peach ended with Yuri's mother having a wedding dress fashion show.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • The main characters of HeartCatch Pretty Cure! are in their school's fashion club, with Erika as Club President, so of course this would have to happen at the school festival at the end of episode 36. There is also one in Paris as the focus of The Movie.
    • Smile PreCure! features a fairy tale-themed fashion show at the end of episode 34, again a school festival episode.
  • The climax of Princess Jellyfish is the jellyfish dress fashion show to save the apartment building Amamizukan.
  • Ninja Hattori: In "Let's Go for a Fashion Show", the school holds a fashion show. Yumeko makes her own ninja costumes for the show and has Hattori, Shinzo, and Shishimaru demonstrate them.
  • The two main characters of Smile Down The Runway are a teenage fashion designer, and a too-short model who is his classmate. Fashion shows are repeatedly present.
  • Lupin III Part 6: One serves as the climax of episode 16, with Lupin and Fujiko attempting to steal the highbrow outfits, only to find the highlighted model being none other than their own stoic Samurai Goemon! Turns out the fashion designer, Gabby, saved his life on a training trip, so he feels obligated to be her "muse" in turn.

    Asian Animation 
  • Naturally, this is the setting of the Lamput episode "Fashion Show", where the docs chase Lamput into a fashion show and are forced into participating.
  • In the Motu Patlu episode "Motu Patlu Ka Fashion Show", Motu and Patlu compete in a fashion show. The villain John the Don swaps the clothes they are to wear for his own, which are all made out of materials that get them attacked by various animals he brings out onto the stage (a bunch of bees swarm after Motu and Patlu since their clothes are made out of honey, a goats eats their clothes since they're made of leaves, and a bull chases them around because their clothes are red).

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ready To Wear aka Prêt-à-Porter took place at a fashion show with a NSFW catwalk at the end.
  • Zoolander involves a plot for an assassination to happen at one.
  • The Great Muppet Caper; the victim of the theft that kicked off the film was a famous fashion designer, and as a plot point, Miss Piggy fills in for one of the models.
  • Roberta and the remake Lovely To Look At end with a fashion show.
  • The number "Think Pink" from Funny Face.
  • The Ambassadors Daughter, starring Olivia DeHavilland, Myrna Loy and the late John Forsythe. Forsythe meets DeHavilland (who plays the title character) at one of those lunchtime fashion shows where the models wander among the tables so the diners can view them close-up. This movie is notable for a lot of 1950's-era Gorgeous Period Dress, especially Christian Dior designs of the "New Look" variety.
  • The Jane Russell movie The French Line, which introduced Kim Novak in a nonspeaking role as one of the models in a Fashion Show featuring designs by Russell's character's best friend.
  • The Women: A Fashion Show was the only part of the 1939 film version to be filmed in color.
  • The aptly titled Fashions of 1934 includes a few shows.
  • The number "The Girl on the Magazine Cover" in Easter Parade.
  • The "Beautiful Girl" number in Singin' in the Rain has a show of outfits while a narrator rhymes about the clothes.
  • The Devil Wears Prada has a few, and it's a source of conflict when the main character is invited to one ahead of her more experienced co-worker.
  • Kinky Boots has a substantial amount of time spent on the various models on the catwalk at the Milan Shoe Show.
  • Parodied in The Meteor Man when Meteor Man and the bad guy both end up holding books based on runway modeling (their powers cause them to absorb and assimilate the knowledge from a book).
  • True Stories features the worst fashion show, "A Bonanza of Beauty", ever. One outfit is basically a suit made of lawn grass and sod.
  • In The Stuff, the scene of models wearing full length furs over swimsuits was shot like a fashion show.
  • One scene in the film Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day has the titular character attending a fashion show featuring lingire.
  • What a Girl Wants had one where the main character fell over while trying to walk on the stage.
  • Gia opened with one (in some versions) of Gia modeling a Fairytale Weddingdress with a white fox muff.
  • The Three Stooges short Slippery Silks features a fashion show, which includes some of the boys' odd carpentry-based creations (they're cabinet makers hiding from an angry client after they destroyed his antique Chinese cabinet).
  • Absolute Beginners has a fashion show by designer Henley, and that Suzette works at as an assistant to the models. When she gets accidentally gets dragged into the show on a model's dress, she ends up taking the show over, and inadvertently creating what Henley claims is his "new look".
  • The minor league hockey players in Slap Shot are forced to moonlight as fashion models and walk the runway to try and drum up interest in the team. They hate it enough that one player decides to model what's underneath the outfit instead, causing horrified shrieks from the ladies in the audience.
  • The dueling biopics about Yves Saint Laurent both feature multiple fashion shows, showcasing the evolution of his designs and indicating the passage of time. In the authorized film Yves Saint Laurent, the designer's actual creations were lent to the production and curators were on set to make sure none of the historic pieces were damaged. The unauthorized Saint Laurent features well-crafted recreations.

  • James Bond
    • In Licence Renewed, Bond prevents the assassination of the novel's main love interest, who is a model, in one. Her death was supposed to give the complete control of her inheritance to her half-uncle.
    • Bond goes to visit one under a guise of a journalist in Never Dream of Dying to get close to model/actress Tylyn, whose husband is suspected of criminal dealings.
  • The Widow of Desire starts with a show of fur coats for the company that the main character and her husband founded.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the second episode of American Horror Story: Hotel a fashion show introduces us to characters Will Drake the fashion designer and Tristan the model, both of whom will be significant for the rest of the series. The who also introduces us to real life supermodel Naomi Campbell who plays a fashion editor.
  • CSI-verse:
    • CSI: Miami: One episode opens with a fashion show that gets interrupted by machine gun fire while two models are on the runway. Turns out to all be a part of the show. When the noise dies down, one model asks loudly, "Do I have your attention now?"
    • CSI: NY:
      • In "Wasted," models are wearing *literally* painted-on swimwear. One dies on the runway because the heat from the lights activates drugs that were mixed into the paint, which was used by accident, and another is bludgeoned to death backstage when she catches the drug dealer trying to steal back the cans of the paint that were mistakenly delivered there.
      • In "Like Water for Chocolate," a fashion designer uses expensive chocolate and damiana flowers in his designs, which are presented by models on a runway. Det. Flack comments to Stella how cold it is in the venue. She tells him it's necessary because chocolate melts at body temperature.
  • Stephen Colbert does the catwalk strut on his way to interview a fashion guest: [1]
  • Hope & Faith featured a mother/daughter fashion show that doubled as a Beauty Contest. Sydney chose to enter with Faith rather than Hope who then decided to enter with Hailey.
  • Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon?: Arnav and Khushi first meet at a fashion show where Khushi is mistaken for a model and sent onto the ramp.
  • From the Earth to the Moon: "The Original Wives Club" introduces the Apollo astronauts' wives by having them participating in a charity fashion show.
  • The Murder, She Wrote season four episode "A Fashionable Way to Die" is built around a fashion show and a murder during it. The clothing of two models gives Jessica Fletcher a clue to the murderer's identity.
  • An amateur show is put on at the youth center in an episode of Power Rangers Zeo. It features, among other things, Jason modeling in red clothing, a contrast to his currently predominantly black wardrobe.
  • A rather odd, but hilarious example appears in James May's Man Lab; when James decides to attempt to bring the boiler suit into mainstream fashion, he and several volunteers participate in one during the esteemed Graduate Fashion Week.
  • Project Runway. Also The Fashion Show, its successor on Bravo.
  • A 6th season episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch had Morgan organizing a fashion show with clothes she designed as part of her final year project. After alienating all her models, the rest of her friends have to fill in.
  • Many episodes of Sex and the City, including a scene in The Movie.
  • The old (1986) Joan Collins miniseries Sins had several Fashion Show scenes. Joan's character was a fashion model turned couture magnate.
  • True Jackson features a fashion show and models regularly just to display new clothing.
  • Since Ugly Betty is about a fashion magazine, these show up at least once per season.
  • The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is a special about a show of fashions related to Victoria's Secret. Although most of these aren't outfits that would be sold in the store.
    • The first season episode "As Westbridge Turns" features a school fashion show as the climax.
  • Velvet: Occurs at least once a season whenever the in house designers debut a new collection.

  • Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy" music video is too sexy for this article.
  • En Vogue's "Free Your Mind" video.
  • Jody Watley's "Real Love" video, as a model walking solo down the catwalk.
  • George Michael's "Too Funky" video has actual famous models of the era (including Linda Evangelista and Tyra Banks) and the impressive sight of 58-year-old Julie Newmar still rocking a catsuit.
  • The David Bowie video "Boys Keep Swinging" ends with one, as each of his three female backup singers gets a turn on the catwalk...with the twist that all three are actually him in drag.

     Music Videos 

  • The Sleep-Tite fashion parade at the end of The Pajama Game, which includes a few sight gags: Hines and Gladys walk on wearing convict-striped pajamas and are handcuffed to each other, and Sid and Babe have on, respectively, a pajama bottom only and a pajama top only.
  • At the finale of the Broadway musical Coco, which is set at the relaunch Coco Chanel's couture house, "Always Mademoiselle" showcases many her designs from 1918 to 1959. The models wearing the Chanel designs wore red at the 1970 Tony Award ceremonies.

    Video Games 
  • Pokémon Black 2 and White 2: Elesa's redesigned gym is this. You have to fight the other models on the catwalk before she reveals herself to you.
  • In Barbie Super Model, Barbie participates in quite a few fashion shows. It's one of the main points of the game.
  • This is a core part of the Style Savvy games. Winning them allows you to progress further up in rank and nets you a hefty cash prize, as well as exclusive clothing items.
  • The first mission of Hitman (2016) takes place at a fashion show in Paris. One of the opportunities allows 47 to participate in the show himself, in the place of Helmut Kruger, an Identical Stranger male fashion model.
  • Dragon Quest VI has one any party member can participate in, with rare gear as the reward. The problem is that while you can get gear improved to be more stylish, there's no way of knowing which combination of items will get style points (for example, boxers shorts and a pot lid shield... and nothing else) without a guide. And because the sprites use Informed Equipment, repeatedly doing the contest consists of the exact same movements every time.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Melody, Amy is away for a week because her one of her dresses is featured in one of these. In the Cool Aunt Ending, we get to see Amy’s work displayed properly in a fashion show, modeled by Georgina from Dating My Daughter.

    Western Animation 
  • The Batman: The Animated Series episode "Mean Seasons" started with one.
  • There was a Mother-Daughter pageant in an episode of Daria.
  • A Cutaway Gag on Family Guy showed Peter at a fashion show, propositioning the models as they got to the end of the runway and insulting them as they went back.
  • An episode of The Incredible Hulk (1996) involves Betty and Jen taking part of a Pageant that also acted to promote Feminism by having models with different advanced occupations. They all manage to team up and defeat the Leader and his mutants.
  • Featured in the Phineas and Ferb episode, "Runaway Runway." And heavily parodied, as could be expected.
  • Superman: The Animated Series episode "Obsession" (Designer is Lana Lang, Model is Darcy, target of Toyman)
    • Prior to that was Lana's introductory episode "My Girl."
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity, being a seamstress and fashion designer herself, is frequently involved in fashion shows.
    • "Suited for Success" had Rarity holding a fashion show to show off the dresses she made for her friends. It backfires when her friends get nit-picky and get her to redesign the dresses into Impossibly Tacky Clothes.
    • Rarity's plans for the Ponyville Days festival in "Simple Ways" includes a "Small Town Chic" fashion show.
  • Green Lantern John Stewart was watching his at-the-time girlfriend Vixen perform in one in an episode of Justice League Unlimited.


Video Example(s):


Beautiful Girls

Beautiful girl, for you I've got a passion.
Beautiful girl, you're my queen of fashion.
I'm in a whirl, over my beautiful girl.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CostumePorn

Media sources: