CALL US NOW: 0207-700-2354
FREE UK shipping on orders £40+ (excl. sale items)

Top 5 2000s fashion moments – the best catwalk shows of the decade

February 9, 2024

In the 2000s, catwalk shows were all about spectacle, with one over-the-top show succeeding another. They also produced some truly enduring individual garments and ensembles. Forget certain 2000s fashion trends of the early aughts like crop tops, leg warmers, belly buttons showing in  low rise jeans, and trucker hats on the red carpet, Paris Hilton, Christina Aguilera, and Mariah Carey did have a certain kind of style, courtesy of brands like Juicy Couture in the early 2000s. But this is the real catwalk fashion. Here’s our Top 5 2000s fashion moments, giving you some of the very best.

Versace SS 2000

Number one on our top 5 2000s fashion moments list has to be the green chiffon dress modelled by Amber Valetta for Versace Spring/Summer 2000. She looked awesome! And this dress went on to have lasting impact. When Jennifer Lopez wore it to the 2000 Grammys, people rushed to the internet to look it up. There were so many image searches that, it is rumoured, Google invented Google Images to make slaking this kind of curiosity much easier.


But that’s not all. Donatella Versace has always loved this dress and mentions it often. For Spring/Summer 2020 the time was right to get it out again. She persuaded J-Lo to wear it on the catwalk and the result was another sensation. The audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation. Versace used the green jungle print over again on other sell-out items too.

Top 5 2000s fashion moments – Dior Homme SS 2002 

This collection was a shocker, in a good way. Hedi Slimane took over Dior menswear in 2000. He introduced his own signature cut – very very slender, very androgynous, very sexy. It was a massive change to previous collections and revitalised the House. Karl Lagerfeld longed for a Dior Homme suit. So much so that he lost a massive amount of weight to fit into one – unfortunately this type of silhouette doesn’t look so effective on bigger frames. It was very rock star.


In fact the signature black skinny suit did become the uniform for male rock stars of the period. It had narrow low-rise trousers. The jackets had narrow sleeves, and, while still structured, didn’t have much padding beyond small shoulder pads. If you see the entire collection this isn’t the most outrageous item, as beautiful satin kimono tops and trousers tied with silk obi belts paraded down the catwalk too. There was also an iteration of the suit entirely in scarlet, with a red shirt and tie in exactly the same shade as the jacket and trousers. However, 20 years ago the press did not run with the feminine pieces. They chose The Suit, and the world was a sexier place because of it.

Alexander McQueen SS 2004

What’s a list of top 5 2000s fashion moments without including Alexander McQueen? His references were often brutal and in Spring/Summer 2004 he based a collection on the 1969 film “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” This title is foreboding enough, however, far from being a movie about some unflinching cowboys in the hard-scrabble American past, it was about dance competitions in the hard-scrabble American past. Specifically, 1930s America, where it wasn’t Strictly Come Dancing levels of jolliness. “They Shoot Horses” is about the competitions where the couple who dances for the longest wins a cash prize. Which seems benign, until you realise that many lasted for hours and hours, fainting in exhaustion, feet bleeding, while their partner held them up.


MqQueen’s collection was called “Deliverance”. The models were joined by professional dancers from the Michael Clarke company. At first dancing in a spritely way, over the course of the 20-minute show they became more sluggish until at the finale, only Karen Elson, in a gorgeous silver sequin gown, writhes spasmodically on the floor alone. As she finally lies still, Lee McQueen and Michael Clarke enter and carry her off.

Top 5 2000s fashion moments – Fendi Great Wall of China Show 2007

In 2007, Karl Lagerfeld chose The Great Wall of China as his theme. However, he didn’t just decide to recreate a bit of it in some Paris warehouse, he wanted his models to actually walk on the wall itself. So, it was arranged. At a cost of $10,000,000, and with 12 months of preparation (the paperwork must have been extraordinarily!) 500 guests sat on the edges of the ancient fortification in Beijing and watched 88 models walk down the middle. Of course the antique stonework itself was protected from the high heels by a catwalk built on top. Unfortunately, the garments themselves, a combination of some spring/summer 2008 and some specially designed pieces, were pretty meh. But the setting was lovely.

Louis Vuitton SS 2008

Nurse novel, like those which inspired Richard Prince. Image licensed under Creative Commons.

Nurse novel, like those which inspired Richard Prince. Image licensed under Creative Commons.

For Spring/Summer 2008, Marc Jacobs, head designer at Louis Vuitton decided on a collaboration with the edgy artist Richard Prince. An earlier collaboration with Takashi Murakami had gone stratospheric, so it was a good call. Prince is not the same kind of artist as Murakami however. The latter has easily loveable characters of smiling flowers in candy colours. Prince went for sinister nurses in translucent white vinyl uniforms and black lace masks. It easily makes our top 5 2000s fashion moments. In a lineup, their individually lettered hats spelled out “LOUIS VUITTON” in red on white, and their red lipstick showed through the black masks.


The whole styling, with 1940s hair, red lips and nipped in waists, was very 1940s and a lot like Nurse Ratched in Ryan Murphy’s recent Netflix series, “Ratched”. Except of course this came before – I wonder if it was where he got the idea? Although “Sinister yet Sexy Nurse” is, of course, a well-known trope. In Prince’s case, the live version was inspired by “Nurses” series of paintings, which were also used for the cover of Sonic Youth’s “Sonic Nurse” album. The original paintings, first exhibited in 2003, play on the covers of trashy romance novels from the fifties and sixties. Prince also created a range of handbags for the collaboration, though I don’t think they were as desirable or collectable as Murakami’s, as the previous artist’s work was far more easily read.