John Galliano is known for casting models with outlandish runway walks, from slow stumbles at his '99 haute couture show for Christian Dior to exaggerated poses at the Maison Margiela's fall/winter '19 Artisanal Co-ed show. But while those OTT walks used to stick out like a sore thumb, now more and more designers are instructing their models to stomp down the runway.
Last winter, NYFW show-goers watched in awe as Vaquera sent stomping models (Walter Pearce, in particular) down a debris-covered catwalk. As the show went on, the stomping got more and more intense; by the finale, attendees didn't know whether to laugh or clap at what they'd just witnessed. Likewise, at Collina Strada's SS20 outdoor show, a model stomped heavily on the concrete catwalk, all whilst carrying the world's most unlucky dog.
But when it comes to runway theatrics, Galliano still holds the crown. His latest presentation included all the flourishes that make Maison Margiela special: political undertones, an over-the-top set, artful designs. But it was the lone finale walker that made the show a viral sensation.
That internet-breaking walk was the work of Leon Dame, a 20-year-old German model hand-selected by Galliano and trained by former runway model, Pat Boguslawski. His carefully-planned performance included heavy stomping, one hell of a withering stare, and a painful-looking hunchback, according to GQ.
And from the reactions we've seen over the last week, every ounce of hard work that went into his roughly 30 second routine was worth it. Not only did he get a smile out of Anna Wintour and an Instagram follower in Rihanna, Dame also became the talk of PFW (and the entire Internet). Check out some of the best reactions to Leon Dame's finale walk ahead.