As fashion houses deal with the fallout of the global coronavirus pandemic, the generic fashion-week schedule (which has been in place for years) is under review, at least in the short term, if not longer. With social distancing guidelines likely to be in place for the next few months, the upcoming September shows will certainly look very different, while the men’s July schedule has been all but postponed or replanned in a virtual sense.
Here, we round up all the of the major changes we can expect to see with the fashion-week schedule during the rest of the year.
Couture Fashion Week has been postponed
In late March it was revealed that the couture shows, which were scheduled to take place in Paris in early July, have been cancelled.
French fashion’s governing body, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, explained: “In light of the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic worldwide, strong decisions are required to ensure the safety and health of houses, their employees, and everyone working in our industry.”
Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks are going virtual
With the men’s July shows only a few months away, there is little surprise that the governing bodies behind both Paris Fashion Week and Milan Fashion Week have cancelled the physical showcase in order to make way for something virtual. What is surprising however is that the two cities have swapped dates, with PFW now taking place a week before Milan, starting on the 9 July, while the Italian city will kick off its virtual fashion week on the 14 July.
Exactly what a virtual take on the traditional fashion week will look like remains to be seen, but it appears that it will be mostly hinged on film content.
“This event will be structured around a dedicated platform,” the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode said in a statement. “Each house will be represented in the form of a creative film/video.”
New York Fashion Week has been postponed
The Council of Fashion Designers of America has confirmed that the men’s NYFW shows, which were set to take place in June, will no longer be taking place.
“The decision was based on the current global situation, the ongoing uncertainty regarding its impact on retailers and their open-to-buys, and designers’ challenges in producing collections at this moment,” the CFDA wrote in a statement.
The group also urged designers not to hold its resort 2021 shows, which usually take place at various locations over the summer period.
London Fashion Week is going gender-neutral (and virtual)
The British Fashion Council has also revealed its plans for a digital take on the traditional for the upcoming London Fashion Week in June, where both the men’s and the women’s shows will be hosted in the same virtual space.
“It is essential to look at the future and the opportunity to change, collaborate and innovate,” Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive said. “Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture. The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this.”
Exactly what this new platform will look like will be down to the creativity of the designers and collaborators involved, but the BFC hopes that the new event will serve as a “meet-up point”, which will give the opportunity to designers to generate sales for both the public – through existing collections – and the retailers, through orders for next season’s products.
Saint Laurent has created its own calendar
Saint Laurent has announced that it will no longer show during Paris Fashion Week, opting to run on its own schedule for the rest of the year, in response to the ongoing crisis.
“Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” the house said. “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.”
“With this strategy firmly in place, Saint Laurent will not present its collections in any of the pre-set schedules of 2020. Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity.”
Armani has a new approach
The house of Armani has announced a number of changes to its own schedule, which includes pushing back the men’s shows and presenting a seasonless collection in January.
Both the Giorgio Armani and Emporio Armani men’s and women’s collections will be shown in September 2020, but the format that this will take place in is yet to be determined.
The house also revealed that the Armani Privé show (which usually takes place during Paris Couture Fashion Week in July) will now be postponed until January 2021, where the house will show a seasonless collection, presenting garments that can be worn both in summer and winter. Its atelier will also be open to clients from June 2020, which suggests that the house is putting emphasis on its couture appointments for the rest of the year.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR UK.