07 July 2020
What contents for which Fashion Week?
This July 09 will take place the men’s Fashion Week Spring-Summer 2021 in Paris. But there will be no men’s fashion week this year. It will be rather a fashion week all digital. Because the virus has changed everything. So what are its new paradigms? Podium tour.
Slower creative process, more environmentally friendly manufacturing, the COVID has gone through and designers are now all committed to more inclusive Fashion Week, with mixed shows or unisex collections, less confusing, without overconsumption of images and products as lamented by Mickael Kors. Slowing down the pace has become the new mantra of fashion designers. But that’s not all. The Covid has not only upset the Fashion Week but also their content.
How Covid-19 has changed fashion… and its content?
Another impact of the virus: to see new content emerge…for lack of fashion shows. The Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion (FHCM) has therefore formed a partnership with Launchmetrics (a technology company specializing in data analysis and brand performance) offering access to specific content. These include fashion show videos, interviews, online shoots and virtual press rooms.
During the Shanghai Fashion Week, in the middle of the epidemic, the organizers managed to have the models walk on a green background thanks to a collection of clothes sent by the brands. The fashion houses could then stage their show by choosing their music and their digital decor. This alternative to the traditional fashion shows allowed to enlarge the audience of the Fashion Week, often elitist, and to democratize the haute-couture. The bet was won: in total, the Shanghai FW generated more than 11 million views. In Russia, during the Mercedes-Benz FW, the digital fashion shows reached 830,000 live views thanks to a partnership with TikTok.
To achieve such records, each designer has redoubled his inventiveness. Also in Russia, the videos of the designers who presented their collection had the format of commercials or short films, playful and effective. Although the number of looks per collection was reduced, they were highlighted. Other designers managed to showcase their work by broadcasting shows on Youtube, showing looks on Instagram unveiled and worn by celebrities, lookbooks, podcasts, or even by launching challenges in the form of hashtags.
This last idea was illustrated during the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week in May with the eco-friendly “Sustainability Contest”. During the final, twenty brands from seventeen countries were able to showcase their work via videos shot during or after containment. They were posted on the MCFW website, its Instagram account, and on the Fashion Channel YouTube channel, partner of the event. The competition prize was awarded to Mexican label Desserto, for its vegan bags created via a leather substitute from cactus.
Content that adapts…
Beyond the fashion shows, recreating the FW universe virtually requires creativity and technology. The MCFW chose to organize digital conversations open to all, live on social networks. The guests, fashion personalities including Tommy Hilfiger, could publicly debate on future themes, such as sustainable or eco-responsible fashion. The technology also allowed viewers of other FWs to interact live during the shows with comments and emojis. For their part, the labels could intervene during the shows and interview the designers afterwards to explain their collection. Finally, Heliot Emil and Victor Juul presented their fall-winter 2020/21 collection by inviting the public to immerse themselves “in the experimental and innovative universe” of the brand through a digital show, where the spectator could choose his point of view by moving virtually in 360 degrees in a space, while the models crossed themselves in slow motion.
… and become art
Finally, Dior has just marked the spirits thanks to its collaboration with the Italian director Matteo Garrone, exposing its new collection through a dreamy and surprising film. The brand’s artistic director, Maria Grazi Chiuri told Vogue France this week “the concept of film, as a work and artistic medium, has always captivated me; I’ve often thought of experimenting with it in order to capture the unique atmosphere of haute couture. Cinema is an art form that is both creative and artisanal, an author’s work and a choral work. Very similar to the know-how of fashion”. The same goes for Hermès, which has adapted to the new FW media by presenting its men’s collection through an artistic performance filmed live by director Cyril Teste. For Maurizio Galante, an Italian fashion designer, this type of performance is similar to the transition from theater to cinema and represents “real opportunities. The contents become artistic objects but also carry a strong message. Indeed, Maria Grazi Chiuri has chosen to pay tribute, through her collection, to the women who inspire her, and while other designers focus on sustainable fashion, Naomi Campbell reminds us of the importance of the fight against racist discrimination in the fashion world.
Economic benefits even in times of crisis
If these technological and artistic advances are revolutionizing the sector, they are also encouraging the online purchase of collections. Even though the famous See Now Buy Now concept divides the designers, it limits the losses of the sector. Indeed, as soon as the viewers see the show online, they can be redirected to the e-shop of the brand. For some, the artistic dimension of their work is distorted, for others it is a godsend in this period.
This Parisian Fashion Week of a new kind is about to mark the history of French fashion. “All the challenge is the bet of creativity. There will be no particular specifications. The brands will just have to deliver a film that they will make freely,” said Pascal Morand, executive chairman of the FHCM. “It is clear that we can not transfer to digital the shows as they are. The virtual world is not the transposition of the real world. It’s an opportunity for creativity and innovation. I think it will be interesting,” he added. It promises.