The trend then continued into the 20th century where many designers would stage a depiction of their own, lets say, worlds (Alexander McQueen rings to mind). Now we are in the 21st century, the initial theory behind the use of sets has barely changed, however, the sheer scale has. Sets are no longer a runway, dim lighting and ethereal music. They are enormous constructions, taking months and weeks to build all for a 10 minute show. Two of the most popular contemporary examples would be Louis Vuitton's s/s '13 shows, where Marc Jacobs had models walking up and down multiple escalators onto an expansive runway and Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel s/s '13, where enormous white wind turbines adorned a geometric runway. Although these sets are getting more and more impressive (and expensive $$$), you have to question if perhaps it has become rather chauvinistic. Have runway shows falling trap to age old competition of "who has the bigger toys"?? Can we excuse Lagerfeld's less-then-orginal overworking of tweed because he has really big shiny sets with really popular musicians and really HUGE amounts of people?
I've always seen the fashion industry as a repetitive linage, in the sense that everything old can become new again. Maybe thats what we need, we need some refinement. Its just become a patriarchal game of "who has the bigger rocket" and you would be lying if you couldn't see the clothing falling into a multi-million dollar mechanical abyss.