The Corona crisis on the catwalk: Will we watch digital defilés en masse? – Fashion

If all goes well, the fashion circus will resume in September. In fact, the menswear weeks in June were cancelled and, exceptionally, in Milan and Paris would be merged with the Women’s Weeks. Exactly how this is to be done is unclear.

Even if as many brands as possible show their men’s and women’s collections together and smaller labels end up collectively, there is simply no room for everyone in the calendars. Unless there’s a 24-hour show, but still.

Even if as many brands as possible show their men’s and women’s collections together and smaller labels end up collectively, there is simply no room for everyone in the calendars. Unless there’s a 24-hour show, but still. That is not even the key issue. Whether we can travel back in September remains to be seen. How many magazines and shops can you afford to send someone to New York, Milan and/or Paris? And is it still justified – or even legally permitted – to pack hundreds of journalists, buyers and influencers in claustrophobic, poorly ventilated halls for days in a row? Perhaps we are better prepared for a digital fashion season in which social media, Instagram front, at the same time catwalk and in the front row. Giorgio Armani gave the example in February. When Italy first worried about the coronavirus during Women’s Fashion Week in February, he had his show held in front of an empty hall. The Invités were asked to stay in their hotel room and watch the live stream. The House made this decision in a hurry. Emporio Armani’s show, the brand’s second line, had only progressed a few days earlier. In Paris, only A.P.C. and Agn s b canceled their shows a week later. The mega-spectacles of the luxury houses remained programmed, which was very risky in hindsight. The organizers of the smaller fashion weeks in Paris took over their responsibilities. Public gatherings were banned almost everywhere in mid-March – a défilé is attended by 200 to 800 spectators and international traffic became more difficult by the day. The question of how to make social distances in the front row has not yet been answered. Fashion weeks in Shanghai and Moscow, among others, were not abolished or postponed, but parked in cyberspace. That was interesting because we got an embryonic idea of what a digital fashion week might look like in the future. In the past, of course, many shows have been streamed, for example on Instagram Live and/or on the websites of the brands. But that was something else. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia, aka Moscow Fashion Week, streamed videos of 36 labels via the e-commerce site and had partnerships with Facebook, VKontakte (the most powerful social network in Russia) and, somewhat surprisingly, TikTok. Russian Fashion Week is said to have reached around 830,000 people. “The main task of a fashion week is to promote new collections. But a digital fashion week still has a function: to support fashion houses that plough forward,” said Alexander Shumsky, president of the Russian Fashion Council.Rakuten Fashion Week in Tokyo, but supported brands that still wanted to present their collections online, such as Hyke and Kidill. Shanghai Fashion Week has teamed up with Tmall, the online shopping giant in the business portfolio of technology company Alibaba, Amazon’s Chinese counterpart. The result was an ambitious Cloud Fashion Week, a six-day live stream, videos, now watch, buy now and even digitally after parties. With about 150 shows, about 40 of which were organized by Labelhood, the incubator for young Chinese brands that also have a great international resonance, include Angel Chen, Shushu/Tong, Private Policy and Fabric Porn.De Streams from Shanghai via the Taobao Live app, most reminiscent of a cheap shopping channel on television. This may even have been intentional, because among these 150 brands there were purely commercial lines that simply wanted to move as much product as possible. Digital Fashion Week certainly needed to be improved. The presentations sometimes lasted hours and there was no clear program. There were a number of technical flaws and no effort was made to reach an international audience. Taobao Live, an e-commerce live-streaming app, has a wide reach in China, but little or no resonance in the rest of the world. Was there any attention? After ten minutes of streaming, the indie label Ffixxed Studios had around 9,000 views. At first glance, this is not a shocking figure, but a multiple of the number of viewers at their previous presentations during Paris Fashion Week. Icicicle, a luxury label that opened an opulent flagship store in Paris last year and wants to become a Chinese Herms (decorated by Belgian architect Bernard Dubois), received 238,000 views for its electricity, according to the South China Morning Post. Perhaps the most important lesson is that a digital fashion week focuses much more on consumers than professionals. That is what we expect. In a not-so-distant past, fashion shows were strictly business-like. Now they are mainly marketing vehicles. Strictly speaking, the classic Defilé no longer has any raison d’etre. But take the shows away and you will lose the soul of fashion for a piece. And when you start digitization, the usefulness of local fashion weeks is kind of eliminated. Cyberspace theoretically knows no boundaries (unless, as mentioned above, you stream through a strictly local app). You can imagine that many brands would present their collections at their own pace, in their own corner. The fashion industry would lose any structure in this way, and it would be even harder for small or young brands to break through. Chaos everywhere. It probably doesn’t work that fast. For the fashion weeks in September it will undoubtedly be difficult. In the worst case, virtual events are selected out of necessity. In the medium term, however, we are probably moving into a mixture of big spectacle shows, very small exclusive events and digital formats. With this option, there’s little point in bringing virtual versions of traditional catwalk shows, especially when there are no people in the room. Compare the parade to a live performance and the online event with a video clip. Or talk show, a quiz, an artful stream in Andy Warhol’s avant-garde tradition. Opportunities sat and there is already a lot of play. Since the world reached a dead end, big and small brands have turned into full-fledged media, with talk shows and performances streamed on Instagram. Even Chanel took part in a live concert by Angéle. Such initiatives will no doubt continue soon as the fog subsides.