Fashion shows didn’t always take place on a catwalk. Designers often opted to have their models strut their stuff at some of the capital’s more prestigious locales, including the Prymasowski Palace and the Palace of Culture and Science. These shows were for VIPs only – most often diplomats, public officials, politicians’ wives – all potential clients. The shows were also often part of the diplomatic or cultural exchanges between Eastern bloc countries. Some runway shows took place outdoors, among the concrete apartment blocks of the city center or in the cobblestone streets of the Old Town. There were even travelling fashion shows, which took place in small towns, on makeshift platforms. They were open to everyone – with no invitations or dress codes, but with propaganda purposes in mind. People would come to these shows in droves…
At the time, fashion shows weren’t just fifteen-minute events like the ones today. The shows consisted of extensive collections, with 150 models taking part, and went on for at least an hour and a half, if not three! Some were so long, that there were intermissions… The shows were usually accompanied by music, often performed live, and sometimes even had an announcer that commented on what was happening on the catwalk.
The most interesting shows at the turn of the 1960s and 1970s were put on by Grażyna Hase, in co-operation with the TV director Wowo Bielicki. Each show was centered around the theme of any given collection, which was not standard procedure at the time.