Since the World Health Organization announced the pandemic, more and more people have started talking about the old and non-working model of fashion shows which prioritizes quantity over quality. Truth is, we have gone a long way since Charles Frederick Worth who is believed to be one of the founders of haute couture. For this period fashion has grown from an unattainable dream to a way of manipulating everyone to buy more and more.
The last few months have helped to slow down and help people come up with an adequate solution. Gucci decided to go seasonless, showing only twice a year instead of five. Yves Saint Laurent, on the other hand, claimed they will skip fashion week in September and create their schedule.
What happens now?
Due to the pandemic, there is a lack of clarity about whether and how will the shows occur this fall. That is why we are in desperate need of an alternative…
We are all attached to our mobile devices more than ever. It makes sense if digital fashion shows are the only temporary alternative.
If you’re like me, you learn a great amount of the fashion news initially from Instagram. There are many other fashion junkies out there and that is why this social media is one of the digital spaces where we can encounter the newest designer creations. Last month the director of fashion partnerships at Instagram, Eva Chen, published a “playbook” with directions on how to manage the platform to be a host of a fashion show.
Instagram Is Not the Only Place to Go
However, fashion councils in London, Milan, and Paris have also prepared separate online destinations where collections will be shown in July. They are available to everybody.
On the website of The British Fashion Council from 12 to 14th June were published interviews with designers, podcasts, and digital showrooms on a particular schedule. In Paris, The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode will show the newest collections from 6 to 8th June. As for Italy’s digital fashion week – we will be able to see both men and women fashion shows from 14 to 17th July from the Camera Della Moda website and social channels.
The traditional format of fashion shows has a lot of added advantages. But the Internet lets designers decide when, how, and where to show their best and newest creations. Thanks to that they are provided with extra opportunities to succeed and reach new audiences. From well-known social media platforms, their website, to any kind of unexpected formats.
There are various ways to show a new collection – from a classic lookbook, a short movie, to an interview. Another big plus for the Internet is the ability to immediately receive feedback from clients and fans.
Digital fashion weeks also save up a considerable amount of a brand’s budget – there is no renting of expensive halls, little money spent on logistics, etc. The saved amount of cash can go into the creative process itself.
Online shopping should not be ignored, too! Just like Chanel did with accessories for their newest Cruise collection which premiered for the first time online earlier in June. This is an unprecedented move for the brand since they don’t sell most of their pieces online keeping them exclusive.
Are Digital Fashion Weeks Here to Stay?
There is no way digital fashion weeks will replace traditional catwalks. After the pandemic, many of the designers will perhaps prefer to keep showing their garments online. Not a small amount of them, however, will go back to the physical and so far irreplaceable contact with people. We can compare fashion shows to the theater – without the reaction of the audience, nothing is the same. And certainly, no digital device can replace the feeling of seeing a collection with your own eyes.
One thing is for sure – the fashion industry will not be the same afterward. The old ways won’t open new doors. Adaptation’s what is necessary and the creativity and philosophy of each brand will help it survive the inevitable crisis.