The Weirdest Fashion Show Venues

The fashion world is famous for pulling a few high-budget stunts here, but few things are as wild as a fashion show staged somewhere completely out of context -- from a grocery store to the Great Wall of China.

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MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 20: A model rides by bike the runway in the Moncler Gamme Bleu show during Milan Fashion Week for Menswear Spring/Summer 2011 on June 20, 2010 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)
Stolen Girlfriends Club
The fashion world is known for pulling a few high-budget stunts here and there, but there are few things as disconcerting as a full-fledged fashion show staged somewhere completely out of context. Take, for example, the sensational fall presentation by New Zealand label, Stolen Girlfriends Club, in which models snaked through the aisles of a local grocery store. (Watch the video on YouTube.)
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Elise Overland is no slouch when it comes to dramatic runway stunts (remember the violin player from Spring 2011?), but she pulled out all the stops for fall with a live skating presentation at the Standard Hotel's ice rink featuring fashion fave, Johnny Weir.
Catherine Malandrino is known for finding peculiar venues for her shows, but the most recent fall presentation was the most unusual yet, with models perched along the foundation at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall. For more images, visit
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Karl Lagerfeld has the imagination and the resources to stage some of the most memorable runway shows of all time. The Kaiser's (pre-Recession) Fendi runway along the Great Wall of China is likely the most epic catwalk there ever was, or ever will be.
Not to be outdone by Kaiser Karl, French designer and performance artist, Pierre Cardin, staged a runway show in the China's Gansu desert that same year. The all-white outfits and spooky white masks heightened the eerie, Star Wars' "Tatooine" effect.
Thom Browne deserves a special category all his own when it comes to kooky runways and off-beat venues. For his fall '11 menswear collection, the designer staged an ornate dinner party in the New York Public Library, complete with turkey-toting waiters. For more images, visit
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Moncler goes to great lengths to find unusual locations for its luxury line, Gamme Bieu (also designed by Thom Browne). For their fall 2011 menswear collection, the brand presented at a Milanese horse track, Centro Ippico Lombaro, with each model toting his own beagle puppy.
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The previous season, Moncler sat its male models atop cruise bicycles to do laps around the Vigorelli Velodrome. Fast fashion indeed!
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The most recent Moncler spectacle, however, may have outshone even the Velodrome: A "flash-fashion" show in none other than Grand Central Station featured models clad in winter gear and goggles dancing a spectacularly choreographed routine. The look book, shot on the very same night, features tourists and passerby standing astride the models.
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New York City seems to be keen on its guerilla fashion shows and performances. This winter, local designer Andrew Buckler took over a block of Grand Street in Soho to accommodate a small army of male models.
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Similarly, Cynthia Rowley shipped a bus load full of models dressed in her skimpy resort dresses to pose in Times Square (right in front of the Conde Nast building. Coincidence—we suspect not).
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