The French Haute Couture and Fashion Federation confirmed this Wednesday that Paris women's fashion week is set to go ahead in September. This latest announcement makes Paris the first of Europe's fashion centers to confirm its Spring-Summer shows.
For a time, the coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on the hectic jet-setting schedule and cast a new light on existing concerns about the environmental and economic sustainability of shows and the cycles of consumption they encourage. As many countries relax their lockdowns and social distancing regulations, brands and organisers are questioning if and how they should allow physical fashion shows.
There was increasing uncertainty whether any physical shows would be able to go ahead with the women's spring/summer 2021 season set for this coming September. But, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has confirmed that some physical shows are set for certain to take place. Along with the release of a schedule of physical shows, a new digital platform will also be unveiled soon.
Paris women's fashion week will be held between September 28 and October 6 but "comply with the recommendations of the authorities" due to coronavirus. Social distancing guidelines will be in place for both those taking part in the show and those watching.
There are however going to be changes to the usual Fashion week schedule as the pandemic has seemingly forever changed the fashion calendar.
With countries all around the world living under strict lockdown guidelines since March, many fashion events were postponed or cancelled this year. This includes the recent July shows for the men's collections, couture fashion week and many of the cruise spectacles.
A number of fashion houses have also chosen to stray from the traditional calendar in favour of a new format. In May, Gucci's creative designer, Alessandro Michele, announced the brand would permanently abandon the traditional fashion calendar. Saint Laurent expressed a similar sentiment, revealing in April that it would not be continuing to show its collections to the "pre-set schedules of 2020.".
Likewise, some brands will be embracing the new digital experience. Burberry is set to host its London Spring collection as an outdoor show, to be accessed digitally whilst Vogue reported that, the artistic director at Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, will stage a live show with no audience on July 22 in Italy's Puglia region.
It appears that whatever fashion week does happen, it will be a relatively large change to what we are used to.
By Natalie Reppas