Paris’s men’s and haute couture fashion shows have to be watched online, but the City of Lights will be ready to stage physical shows by September. According to a statement issued by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), Paris Fashion Week will go ahead and the women’s spring/summer 2021 ready-to-wear runway shows will take place between September 28 and October 6.
The organizers shared only a few details, but confirmed the FHCM “will comply [with] the recommendations of public authorities.” They also added the physical shows will be “completed” by a specially-created online platform, a clever solution for international editors and fashion lovers who may not be able or willing to travel to the fashion capital.
Designers who can produce a new collection by then will need to reconsider who to invite and the safest venue options. One possibility is to follow in Ricardo Tisci’s footsteps and plan an outdoor space as a backdrop to the runway. With many facing financial struggles due to issues like cancelled wholesale orders, they will also have to take the additional cost of the health precautions into account.
The pandemic has made brands look for new and innovative ways to present their collections. For the first time in its 40-year history, London Fashion Week was an online-only event. Melding men’s and women’s collections, it was also gender-neutral.
As well as upending the fashion calendar, the coronavirus pandemic has got designers thinking about sustainability and environmental concerns. One of these is Gucci's Creative Designer, Alessandro Michele, who announced the brand won’t be following the traditional jet-setting schedule last month. Major brands normally follow a hectic timetable, including separate men's and women's runway events for autumn-winter and spring-summer, and often stage additional one-off "cruise" shows.
However, feeling digital versions haven’t created the same excitement, other leaders in the luxury industry, like Chanel, aren’t ready to give up on fashion month and have said they are committed to stage live fashion shows in September.