† In London, a discreet fashion week accessible online
Aside from a handful of “physical” parades, London Fashion Week, which starts Thursday with Burberry, has gone online due to the pandemic.
Without journalists and shoppers from around the world, London Fashion Week, which kicks off Thursday with a Burberry show, will be both more intimate and open, with content accessible online.
Usually the brands compete in ingenuity to find the most extravagant places for breathtaking fashion shows. VIPs congregate there while influencers get their picture taken in the adjacent streets.
But in these times of restrictions imposed by the new coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 41,600 people in the UK, fashion has moved on the internet and “Elle UK” editor-in-chief Farrah Storr is about to watch the Burberry fashion show “at home, in (her) cashmere jogging,” she wrote in the “Daily mail.”
“On the front row, it’s just me and my two dogs looking at clothes that I hope people will be able to wear in six months,” she said in the Daily Mail.
Only a handful of “physical” shows will be staged, while 80 designers will showcase their collections through Tuesday, some through appointment presentations and the majority through videos posted to the Fashion Week website. Among the makers who dare to show physical distance with the public are London-based Turks Bora Aksu, the ace of luxury knitwear Mark Fast and the Chinese brand PRONOUNCE.
These events are broadcast live, an “essential resource,” explains Vogue Business’s Mark Fast. “Streaming a fashion show will reach tens of thousands of people throughout the day, and hundreds of thousands if not more during the season.”
First on Twitch
The British Burberry kicks off the week with a show broadcast at 1 p.m.
For this Spring-Summer 2021 collection, Italian designer Riccardo Tisci teamed up with German artist Anne Imhof for a “radical encounter between fashion and art”. This guest-free show in the middle of nature will be broadcast live for the first time on Twitch, a streaming platform that popularized video game broadcasts by recording comments from players and spectators.
“Twitch is opening an exciting new space where our Burberry community can be transported digitally to feel like they have a front row seat to our live show,” said Rod Manley, Chief Marketing Officer at Burberry. “This is an interactive experience where guests can connect with both our brand and each other to comment on pieces from our collection,” he explains in a statement.
Other highlights of the week include collections from former Spice Girl designer Victoria Beckham, London-based South Korean Eudon Choi and Briton Molly Goddard.
Despite the bleak context, “London Fashion Week is one of the few international events held in London that demonstrates this industry’s resilience, creativity and innovation in times of crisis,” emphasized the British Fashion Council (BFC), a organization responsible for promoting British fashion, in a press release.
The fashion sector, which employs more than 890,000 people, contributed 35 billion pounds (41 billion francs) to UK GDP in 2019. But this industry “is facing enormous challenges from the impact of Covid-19,” warns the BFC, which has set up a million pound (1.18 million francs) emergency fund to help designers.
Traditionally dedicated to women’s fashion, this September Fashion Week will be “gender neutral” (regardless of gender), focusing on men’s, women’s and mixed collections alike. All subsequent London Fashion Weeks will follow the same pattern.
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