With the world being put into lockdown for three months and the future being unclear, the world of fashion suffers alongside the rest of us. Luxury fashion designers have been halting production, department stores have filed for bankruptcy, and while the Fashion Week has a new format, the future of it is unclear.
While London Fashion week was able to run online, men’s and Haute Couture Fashion weeks have lost their spot of the fashion calendar, and given social distancing measures are not likely to be lifted soon, the September’s Spring 2021 presentations are facing grim predictions. Paris and Milan, similarly to London, have tried putting up digital shows, but every day cancellations and postponement announcements would pop. The luxurious world of golden tickets to front-row seats, over-the-top runways and overdressed guests is crumbling down.
Given the world is still urged to stay indoors, not many are concerned in regards to what will we wear in the months to come – but rather what is to become of the fashion calendar? Quite a few luxury fashion designers have already given up on the fashion weeks altogether and in this article, we will run through them quickly.
Michael Kors was the latest of luxury fashion designers to announce pulling the brand off the Fashion Week but have reassured a comeback sometime later in 2021. In the interview with Vogue, the designer shared - he thought the calendar was unperfect, to begin with, and was in a need of a facelift. In his statement, the following was said: "It’s exciting for me to see the open dialogue within the fashion community about the calendar—from Giorgio Armani to Dries Van Noten to Gucci to YSL to major retailers around the globe—about ways in which we can slow down the process and improve the way we work. We’ve all had time to reflect and analyze things, and I think many agree that it’s time for a new approach for a new era".
Despite predictions of going digital, Armani had instead announced a postponement of its show. While it has been confirmed that the men’s and women’s collections are to be seen in September, the format of the show has not been confirmed. The Armani Privé show will be held back to January 2021 and will take place in Milan at the Palazzo Orsini instead of Paris.
Alexander Wang was disobeying the rules of the official fashion calendar since 2018 and had established his own rules. Previously showcasing collections in June and December, Wang didn’t run a show in December last year, instead released the Alexander Wang Vault collection in April to celebrate the brand’s 15th anniversary. 20% of revenue from the said collection, according to Wang, will be donated to the WHO’s COVID-19 Fund.
Unlike other luxury fashion designers, Marc Jacobs is facing issues other than being uncertain about the format of the show. As he explained at the Zoom webinar with Vogue’s Anna Wintour and Edward Enniful, most of his fabrics are imported from Italy and due to the shortage of import he had to halt production on the upcoming collections. He explained that to create a new collection, he needed a team and the team needed to look at fabrics, that come from Italy. There is travelling and many other things involved in the process that are simply impossible with the current state of the world. “Until we discover a new way to work – until we create a new way to work – or a new end goal to work towards, we really have nothing to do,” the designer said.
Pyer Moss stands out from the rest of luxury fashion designers by an alternative solution of digital shows – drive-in movie premiers. Jean-Raymonds plans on revealing his documentary ‘American, Also’. The said documentary will depict the spectacle of the fashion week spectacle that was presented alongside his spring 2020 collection. To complement the documentary, Pyer Moss will also debut special collections that are related to the timeframes of the film, starting off with its first appearance in New York.
Alessandro Michele of Gucci has called fashion calendar ‘worn-out ritual of seasonalities’ and made a statement it is time to move away from outdated customs. Gucci will continue showing up twice a year, but the terms ‘cruise’ and ‘pre-fall’ will no longer be in use as they do not stimulate creativity. The brand is among those that have not ditched the fashion shows completely and is to be seen on July 17 at Milan Digital Fashion week, presenting its collection Epilogue.
Saint Laurent announced no longer following the two shows a year model all the way back in April, dropping out of the Paris Fashion Week for the spring/summer 2021. According to the brand’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello, this time will be used to regain control over the creative pace and to reshape the brand’s schedule.
"Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimating the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives.” Vaccarello had also added that the model of two fashion shows a year was built years ago, and the times we live in are completely different from then. The pandemic alone is forcing the world to readjust, and so Vaccarello says the current focus should be “the importance of our time”.