The Parisian Fashions Weeks are getting organized: they returned in July, initially, in virtual mode. For the start of the school year, Spring-Summer 2021 Women’s Fashion Week will take place from September 28 to October 6, but the formula has not yet been defined.

The Paris Fashion Week for women spring-summer 2021 will be held in Paris from September 28 to October 6, 2020 in a form that will comply with official recommendations in the face of the coronavirus epidemic, announced, in June, the Federation of Haute Couture and of fashion. Its organization will be supplemented by the system deployed for Paris Fashion Week® online.

Spring-Summer 2021 Men’s Fashion Week as well as Fall-Winter 2020-21 Haute Couture took place online in July for the first time in their history. In the form of films, they were shown on dedicated platforms replacing the men’s ready-to-wear week (scheduled from June 23 to 28) and the haute couture week (scheduled from July 5 to 9), canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

A new exercise for designers visibly upset by the changes brought about by the epidemic. A new way of telling the story of fashion, which has seduced some while others dream of the return of shows on the catwalks.

Only certainty for the moment: the Saint Laurent house has decided to rethink its approach to time and establish its own calendar. “Aware of the radical changes induced by the coronavirus epidemic, the luxury house Saint Laurent withdraws from the calendar of Fashions Weeks of 2020 and will present the collections at their own pace “, had announced in April its artistic director Anthony Vaccarello.

Without a parade for the first time in its history but with high artistic ambitions, Virtual Fashion Week creatively braved the post-Covid-19 depression. She pushed the creators, deprived of the adrenaline of the parades, to captivate the public in a different way.

For haute couture, an exclusively Parisian event that promotes handmade craftsmanship and rare know-how, each house that is part of the official calendar of the Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion has unveiled its collection through films.

“Containment was for me the moment of a great reflection and cleaning of the mode system where sometimes too much happens”, confided the Italian designer Maurizio Galante. For him, online fashion is “a great opportunity to get messages across to an audience that will be focused on the pictures rather than looking at who is sitting in the front row”, the one reserved for celebrities, a glamorous element that largely makes up the parade. If the fashion designer associates the parades with the theater, watching the clips is like going to the cinema and being “rather detached”, two arts with “their completely different languages”.

For the Vietnamese designer Xuan Thu Nguyen the “artistic video” of its brand Xuan, rather than showing the entire collection, offered “un teasing” to lead spectators into a universe. “I can live without the parades for a while although I think I will miss it eventually”, she had explained.

Digital fashion is not a “solution miracle” but for now it’s “the only way” to show the creative work and rebound the sector, said Gilles Lasbordes, Managing Director of Première Vision, an upstream trade show in the fashion industry. “The machine must start again”, he said, recalling that the process is long. A year passes between the presentation of fabrics and accessories at the show and the sale of products made with them, and six months between the show and the arrival of clothes in the store. For him, this parenthesis imposed by the epidemic could be “intellectually interesting for creators”, who will find new forms to enhance their work, especially as the consumption of online fashion continues to increase.

For small brands, online Fashion Week can have advantages, underlined Laurent Coulier, buyer of men’s collections for French department stores Galeries Lafayette and BHV Marais. “In terms of saving time, it’s extremely interesting. It allows us to see collections every half hour and to be able to see them all. With the fashion shows, it is difficult to have a global vision of the market (.. .) There are brands with which we do not collaborate and that can make you want to discover them “.

For well-known brands, this is an opportunity to be original, according to this buyer, who cites the example of the Y / Project presentation showing how to wear the same garment “transformed” in different ways. “What is a bit lost”, he concedes, “it’s the personal feeling you can have when you are invited to a particular place” for the parade

Fashion has showcased the few outfits designers had time to design after lockdown in videos “creative”. A good thing, according to the professionals: they are accessible to all, beyond the small world of the privileged invited to the parades. But the films failed to convince nostalgic critics of the emotion of the “true” parade. We saw “short films, music videos, trailers, perfume ads. Some clothes, too”, quipped Vanessa Friedman in the New York Times. “But honestly, give me back the podium. Even though I never thought I would write such a thing,” underlined the critique fashion.

“This digital fashion week makes the real show model relevant, even essential.” “I am completely digital but for me it is not good”, said critic Diane Pernet who also runs the ASVOFF fashion film festival. “It’s very important to have a show, because luxury is emotion, and nothing brings as much emotion as a live fashion show in which you feel the electricity of creative moment “, explained Dior CEO Pietro Beccari.

“I am a great defender of traditional parades. I miss everything that we can bring through parades. Even though I am very proud of the documentary that we made, it does not replace emotion.”, said Kris Van Assche, artistic director of Berluti.

“The parades must come back: the clothes, their fall, the fabrics must be seen”, concluded Paul García, founder of the Spanish men’s clothing company Oteyza.