Magic Meets the Runways

There’s an occult undercurrent to the 2017 runways. Both Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer saw a display of witch wear that seems to be bubbling up from collective psyche. In a time of so much uncertainty and darkness, fashion reflects our need to feel empowered, self-creating and in charge of our own fate. Even the most pedigreed houses were recognizing the zeitgeist.

For their Spring/Summer collection “Magic Lanterns,” Gucci commissioned artist Jayne Fish to design print and pattern based on the major arcana. “Death”, “chariot” and “emperor” are some of the mystical characters represented on the runway, while esoteric symbols like the eight-pointed star and hieroglyphics were more overt references to magic.

Dior’s Spring/Summer drew from the personal leanings of its namesake. It’s said that Monsieur Dior regularly visited psychics and had his tarot cards read before each runway show. As a nod to his witchy ways, Maria Grazia Chiuri sprinkled the label’s signature A-lines with some of his lucky talisman symbols such as the number eight and the clover. Representations of the cosmos and the tarot also graced the gowns.

“Chance always comes to the aid of those who really want something,” Dior has said. Spoken like someone who understands the process of manifesting your deepest desires on the vibratory field.
For Alexander McQueen’s Fall/Winter 2017, Sarah Burton referenced the Cloutie tree, on which people tie ribbons as wishes, as her aesthetic and spiritual jumping-off point. It was an earthy, pagan-inspired presentation of dresses beaded with silvery trees and sun and star motifs.