Fashion Week Update – London & NY
During London Fashion Week (LFW) this season, which came to a close mid September, a lot of attention was put on the presentations, and not just the clothes. Designers put to the test against a struggling market and more social restrictions. While stage dressing and setting are usually key elements of any fashion event, now, whether designers choose to put on a live show at all, or go online — with a film, a digital runway — remains a point of interest, and with pandemic-related restrictions recently tightened in the UK, even controversy. Is this the moment the fashion industry should be slowing down — maybe rethinking the fashion week schedule entirely?
Another big question was: Who is buying luxury clothing and for what reason? Coronavirus infection rates continue to rise in many parts of the world, meaning that people are still limiting their out-of-doors activities, and the luxury clothing market is floundering.
Despite this grim outlook, a gender-neutral LFW still hosted 50 digital presentations, 21 physical-digital hybrids, and seven live events, according to the British Fashion Council. Only three designers — Bora Aksu, Mark Fast, and Pronounce — held physical runway shows.
LFW also saw the return of some familiar faces, like JW Anderson, always a hot ticket, who presented a video teaser for his Spring-Summer 2021 collection, which will be revealed on September 28, and Richard Quinn, who was presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design in 2018, showed a very short teaser for his new collection, to be released on October 9.
London has historically been seen as the more edgy and innovative fashion week of the big four — next to New York, Milan and Paris — so it was no surprise that both young and more established designers, like Burberry, chose to experiment with technology as a way to keep their audiences and woo buyers, though whether this has been successful is yet to be seen.
Another new development was the return of the salon. Before fashion weeks had become heavily attended affairs with international press, influencers and celebrities all turning out to see and be seen, many labels hosted small, exclusive events; gatherings of select editors and buyers, a trend that seems to be returning in light of social restrictions.
Designer Molly Goddard was one of the designers who held a salon, showing a collection she says started with a sombre palette. But then things changed as lockdown lifted. “As we returned slowly to the studio, after months of working as a team over zoom, I realised how dark and depressing the last few months had been and more and more color crept into the collection,” she said in a statement. Paired with her signature ruffled dresses and skirts, in an explosion of neon pink and green, there were also soft cardigans offering a touch of comfort.
Simone Rocha also designed a collection built on contrasts, both majestic and practical, with functional shoes and opulent silhouettes — a move towards more dressy ensemble that also have easy style. Source: CNN Style