Paris Fashion Week: how to watch virtual catwalks

Written by Fiona Sinclair Scott, CNN

While the new coronavirus made the city of Paris talk about it during women’s fashion shows around this time last year, no one could have predicted that it would continue to set the seasonal fashion calendar twelve months later. .

But the eight-day program for Paris Fashion Week, which opened on Monday, consists mostly of digital videos and live broadcasts instead of crowded catwalks. This is the new normal for a world that has been turned upside down.

From manufacturing supply chains to sales, all aspects of the fashion industry’s modus operandi have been called into question due to health and safety concerns and travel restrictions.

One of the most tangible examples of the impact of the pandemic is the various Fashion Weeks that have unfolded virtually all over the world, meaning the once closed and very exclusive events in New York, London, Milan and Paris have seen their doors open. year.

Now anyone can have a front row seat during a fashion show. In all fairness, this democratization process had already started, thanks to Instagram and other social platforms providing access to shows through the prism of the influencers, publishers and brands that were the first to adopt online streaming. direct, but the pandemic has accelerated the speed of fashion digitization. .

And, as a result, fashion brands big and small have had to think creatively about how to generate interest in their new designs without the razzmatazz of large-scale events in person.

Guests “attend” the Balmain Spring / Summer 2021 show as part of Paris Fashion Week in September 2020. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Some of the heavy hitters have opted out of fashion weeks altogether, using the disruption as an opportunity to re-evaluate when and how they present themselves. In Paris this time, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Balenciaga will notably be absent

That said, there are over ninety brands on the official Paris Fashion Week schedule, which will see Uruguayan-born designer Gabriela Hearst showcase her first collection for Chloe after being announced as new Creative Director. of the brand in December.

A number of emerging and international brands will also be in attendance, such as South African label Thebe Magugu and Nigerian designer Kenneth Ize, who has been endorsed by a number of high profile fans of his work, including Naomi Campbell.

Ralph Toledano, president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), the organizing body for Paris Fashion Week, told CNN Style that helping to promote emerging talent is crucial right now and that a fund has been set up to help the youngest. marks during this difficult time. Emphasizing the support the organization has offered in areas such as video production, financial advice and communication, he said: “It is especially very important to help the young, very talented brands present in Paris … to overcome the effects of the (health) crisis and to be even stronger once it is behind us. “

While digital solutions have been the only realistic way forward, Toledano says he looks forward to the return of physical shows. “Our world needs creativity and imagination more than ever. They cannot be digital only forever,” he said. “We look forward to welcoming events and guests to Paris again. Emotion and sensory perceptions require a physical world and in-person performances.”

Until then, see all digital presentations here and via the videos below.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6

7th day

8th day

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