Stop, drop and pose.
Models at Milan Fashion Week took “fall” fashion to new heights at the AVAVAV show, tumbling on the runway and leaving the audience in shock.
The startling performance racked up millions of views online, with many falling for the looks, touting the topples as “genius.” One video alone amassed 11.1 million views and thousands of comments.
The drop-dead luxury fits were on display during the Florence-based brand’s first-ever live show led by creative director Beate Karlsson, who said the falling was all planned.
Playing up satire and slighting the fashion industry’s obsession with status, the “Filthy Rich” line included knock-off luxury logos re-designed with “AV” and graphic tops reading “cash cow.” Karlsson even crafted a necklace from three Rolex watches, which could be yours for a mere $300,000.
AVAVAV described the collection as commentary on the current social agenda, in which, “cash and escapism” are at the top, per a press release. The falling stunt, then, was meant to debunk the industry’s self-imposed gravitas and demystify the “fake” personas people adopt.
“It’s so easy in this generation to fake and filter parts of our lives on social media, but all of this can go away so easily,” she told Vogue. “Falling shows this. The fall makes you lose face when you hit the floor, reality catches you right there.”
But the designer isn’t blind to her hypocrisy, saying she isn’t “embarrassed” because she can “see the irony in it.”
“Lately I want something different. I want to look like I have my s–t together, look wealthy, like I have no problems. So many of us want to look rich, and now I do too,” she continued, noting that her collection mimics and pokes fun at the same realm it exists in.
“We’re trying to take the bits and parts of the fashion system we like,” she added, “but still live outside of it as well doing our thing.”
On TikTok, users were tripped up over the brand’s runway performance, unsure at first if it was accidental or ingenious.
“The opening of the show shocked me for a second,” reads text on the clip that amassed over 11 million views and dubs Karlsson a “genius” in the caption.
“This show is going to be extremely viral and all over the Internet just because of this simple concept,” the TikToker, called The Futurist, continued in the comments.
“I’m guessing it’s their fall collection 22,” quipped someone else.
Other videos with 1.3 million and 1.4 million views showed various snaps of the models stumbling on the runway, somehow still looking graceful. Commenters showered Karlsson’s idea in praise, crowning it as “iconic,” “amazing” and “cool.”
Since joining AVAVAV in 2020, Karlsson’s designs have caused quite the ruckus on social media — including Doja Cat’s chicken feet-like boots at the MTV Music Video Awards in 2021 and the realistic silicone rump modeled after Kim Kardashian.
But “doing well” online isn’t the main motivator for her designs — just a cheeky coincidence, and a wow factor she has clearly used to her advantage.
“I don’t necessarily want to design things with the intention of being meme-able, and that’s actually been an inner discussion I’ve had with myself,” she told Vogue, “Am I doing this because I think it will go viral or because it’s something I stand behind as a design?”