Today in Paris, the American comedic actors Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson—stars of the fashion industry satire Zoolander—walked the runway at Maison Valentino’s fashion show, handily taking over the Instagram and Twitter feeds of anyone remotely following the fashion crowd.
“Most genius moment,” the audience captioned their photos. “THE moment of fashion month.”
Increasingly, it’s moments like these—pre-packaged and photo-ready—that fashion weeks are made of. In character as the models Zoolander and Hansel, the actors stole Paris Fashion Week’s spotlight for Valentino.
But one has to wonder if maybe they did too good a job. I didn’t attend the show, and had easily seen 15 photographs of Ben Stiller before I saw one of an actual model wearing Valentino’s designs.
Once upon a time, a fashion show was an opportunity for a designer to show a collection of new clothes to a small community of buyers and editors. Several months later, those gatekeepers to the fashion world would translate the designer’s vision for their customers and readers, on the racks of stores and pages of magazines. Today, of course, those gatekeepers sit side-by-side with bloggers and social media stars, and everyone broadcasts their impressions to the internet immediately.
At Valentino today, US Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, managed to assert her dominance with this backstage shot between the two actors.
The modern fashion show is as much about creating content as it is about clothes, and often, that content promotes another product entirely. (See: Fashion editors’ Instagrams and Tweets carrying shoutouts for Samsung and Lexus.)
Today’s Zoolander appearance, however delightful, was actually no different. Paramount announced this morning that the Zoolander sequel will come out February 12, 2016—just in time for New York Fashion Week.