Paris Fashion Week is back this season, but of course, with some profound changes. While the schedule gives off the strange sense the world is getting back to normal, several adjustments remind us, fashion lovers, this seasons’ shows will be anything like what we are used to. In addition to smaller audiences, outdoor shows, mandatory face masks and an increased digital landscape, this Fashion Week will be unlike anything we know.
Although Paris Fashion Week has 88 brands lined up schedules from September 28 to October 6, it is hard not to wonder if this is all a little too soon. Paris still has travel bands, and new cases of COVID-19 are popping up every day. These restrictions are most likely to bring in a different audience since Paris Fashion Week often attracts fashion industry officials, buyers and writers from all over the world. Additionally, some of the greatest models may not be able to walk in certain shows. This will be a different type of fashion season.
Of course, designers such as Balmain, Chanel, Dior, Hermès and more have always been at the forefront of the fashion industry, so why should we even be surprised they are adjusting their shows to the current situation? But we shouldn’t get too excited yet; digital events are going to be a big part of this season’s shows. Alexandre de Betak, the founder of the fashion show production company Bureau Betak, said, “It’s about digital amplification because from now on and forever, a majority of industry professionals won’t be attending the shows.” While it is a sad reality, we need to expect and accept the digital reality we are living in, since it is, in fact, the new normal.
Other events such as London Fashion Week are delayed after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new restrictions on gatherings larger than six people. In fact, The British Fashion Council said it would limit the number of in-person shows while working under the new limitations. In contrast, Milan Fashion Week is still going forward, creating a mix of digital and in-person shows.
This isn’t all that different from Miami Swim Week, which held virtual presentations and socially distanced shows for the audience. Now, as a model, I am even more cautious about these events. It is too soon. Although the city is taking precautions for the audience and city, what about the models who are part of these events.
But here is the good news, for those of us who cannot make it to Paris this year, the federation is creating a digital platform for all the content to live on. Even if we can’t enjoy the in-person shows, we can still watch with excitement as we see the trends for this upcoming season.