Memes Make Memorial Debut on Paris Runway

Image of a dress in a fashion show which has the following words "SORRY I AM LATE, I DID NOT WANT TO COME"

Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren quickly capitalized on the mood of memes that go viral on social media when they created their spring 2019 collection for Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week.

Each of their 34 colorful, tulle ballgowns was adorned with a meme phrase – those such as “I’m not shy I just don’t like you” and “No photos please.” I am not a strict follower of what is “fashion,” but for a show dedicated to the art of intricate dressmaking and elegant design, I can’t imagine why anyone would ruin a perfectly fine fabric with a bogus saying sewn across the front in bog, bold lettering.

Does this indicate an end to designers’ fashion creativity or a new beginning? The dresses were quickly picked up on Twitter and Instagram, which makes me wonder if perhaps the designers sacrificed couture for clicks. There is such a growing emphasis on the number of likes and followers users have on Instagram that businesses may be creating product solely for the shock effect moreso than for anything expected, anything of actual commercial value.

On the other hand, if the dresses were traditional tulle ballgowns, perhaps they would have blended in with all the other spring collections. Viewers can relate to the obvious statements written on the dresses as they are used to seeing them as memes across social media. As viewers, we are used to laughing when we see memes on social media; does this mean we are now consumers?