The spectacle of the runway show is about the spectacle of the human condition. We are happily bound, like Sisyphus, to roll the rock up, only to watch it go back down, and then roll it back up again. But in the runway show, the spectacle is about that moment of posing at the top of the hill, thereby posing a challenge to the Sisyphean dilemma by providing purpose. And in that purpose, there is the pose, the moment of glory, the moment of exuding confidence and vitality. That moment resonates with us all. We can see ourselves in that momentary pose. That momentary pose is about the human consciousness in the moment making itself known. The present is all we truly have and the runway provides cadence and spectacle that let us embrace how profound the moment is.
Unlike the spectacle of the scaffold, the spectacle of public shame, the runway is a community. There is always another model on the way. And, unlike the scaffold, the runway is about having power. We are watching movement. We are not watching Prometheus bound because he tried to steal fire. We are watching our own attempt to defy our existential contingencies.
The runway is a metaphor for our lives right now
The runway is a spectacle. Spectacle can be shallow and surface level. But it also has another meaning. It can be about what is spectacular. The runway walk is not a solitary experience for the model. There is the moment when she is on the catwalk alone. But, unlike someone being held up to spectacle, the model has motion. She is also not alone. As she’s walking out, the previous model is exiting. As she exits, the new one enters. There is a cycle. The cycle is about viewing both individually and en masse. The cycle is the spectacle. The spectacle is the movement of people, the garments they wear, the space between them, the moment they pause and pose, and then return. The spectacle is the movement of time, the human movement of time. It is about how humans partake in the process of cyclical renewal.