As the first digital Fashion Weeks have drawn to a close, questions remain over whether virtual showcases will wholly replace the classic runway format and what will be the next steps for the industry in revitalising the fashion system post-covid.
Digital vs Physical
The biggest winner of the virtual fashion weeks, it seems, were the real-life fashion show. A handful of buyers weighed in on the virtual presentations, which were broadly appreciated but many were still of an opinion that ‘nothing beats being in the same room’. However, although IMG seem to be making plans to stage physical shows during New York Fashion Week in September, big names such as Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tory Burch and Tom Ford will not be taking part. Most of the major designers are said to be considering small scale presentations and/or virtual showcases.
Dior Cruise x Marinella Senatore
Despite being livestreamed, Dior’s latest presentation harked back to a more traditional Fashion Week format with real-world models and an epic stage set. Collaborating on the scenography for the unveiling of the Dior Cruise 2021 collection, the multidisciplinary artist Marinella Senatore utilized the traditional luminarie lighted structures as a canvas for her text art, with 1.5km of LED flex tubing spelling out phrases on the theme of feminism and the empowerment of women.
The Future of Fashion Weeks
Fashion Week leaders from Shanghai, Paris, London, Milan and New York, will unite for the first time in the virtual world at the Circular Fashion Summit on the 3rd-4th October. Over the two-day, 360-degree interactive event, panellists will discuss sustainability and the new fashion system post-pandemic, navigating the available tools and suggestions that may help to “renew the pace of Fashion Weeks”. With a focus on collective action, the event is not only targeting policymakers, such as government and industry insiders, but also academia and individuals, with the hope of making a positive impact on the fashion system.
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