In the Dries Van Noten exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is a video that stitches together sequences from 20 years of his runway shows — a “supercut,” in online argot. On a tour of the show not long ago, Mr. Van Noten nodded along as memorable moments flashed: male models pedaling bicycles, women stalking the length of an enormous dinner table. But what stood out most were the ghostly points of light illuminating the audience’s faces in the recent shows.
It was, Mr. Van Noten said, their smartphones.
The professional photographers on the risers facing the runways now represent only a fraction of those furiously jockeying to document each outfit, accessory and bit of set dressing. Nearly every show attendee, from the front row to the standing section, now arrives with phone in hand and Instagram account primed.