Full-on runway show, quiet presentation or film debut? That was the big question designers faced prior to the runway season. With businesses slashing budgets dramatically, houses were weighing their options. Some New York designers, like Tommy Hilfiger and Narciso Rodriguez, decided to return  to the Bryant Park tents for big, seated runway shows, while many others— particularly smaller or emerging businesses, like Vena Cava and Threeasfour—opted for off-site presentations.

In Europe, designers Gareth Pugh and agnès b. were among those who skipped the runway, opting to show films. “I didn’t want to seem like this brash little Brit kid doing all these big things in Paris,” declared Pugh after surprising his audience by showing his fall collection as a video projection starring Natasa Vojnovic. “I don’t like it that a 10-minute runway show is just for the people who are there.” He added that his parents checked out the film from an Internet cafe in Lanzarote, Spain.

Showing a mini-movie for her collection was a return to her roots for Agnès Troublé. The designer first unveiled a mini-movie for her fall 1996 collection and has commissioned filmmakers like Argentine director Gaspard Noé for subsequent collections. “I chose to do a film because I think it’s much more modern now than making shows,” Troublé said, adding it’s easier to export to international markets. It will be shown in all agnès b. stores. “That film will last longer than I will last,” mused Pugh.

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