By: Carlee Gettman
If this year has taught us anything, it is how to adapt and the designers and masterminds behind fashion week did just that. The show must go on even if it’s virtual, full of chaos, glamorizes formal sweatsuits and barely includes social interaction. The fashion industry refused to let this usual iconic week fall to COVID-19, so let’s take a look at what made this year’s show go down in history.
The pandemic has altered the everyday lives of many and that includes what is considered to be everyday wear. Since many people are restricted to staying inside and binge-watching Netflix on their couch, jeans and formal attire are no longer a necessity. Fashion designers were demanded to accommodate these changes to satisfy their customers, but few succeeded.
Designers such as Rick Owens, Olivier Rousteing, Virginie Viard and Matthew Williams produced 80’s themed collections full of broad-shouldered jackets. Societies never opposed bringing good fashion back in style, but there’s an appropriate time and place and 2020 just isn’t it. These collections may have been fan-favorites if it was any other year but hour-long Zoom calls from home don’t call for making costly and bold fashion statements.
Although unfitting for the time, the designs still make for great Instagram posts that draw in millions of likes and keep that authentic fashion week appeal alive.
Other designers made sure to incorporate more functional and comfortable looks on this year’s runways. Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current head women’s designer at Dior, made sure their clothes reflected their customer’s present situation. “We are living in a different way and staying more at home within our intimacy. Our clothes have to reflect this new style of life,” Chiuri told Vogue. Sweatpants belong on the catwalk in 2020 because we’re all looking for something to take our minds off of the chaos. Way to read the room Dior.
The unexpected didn’t stop there, fashion powerhouse Moschino introduced the first ever puppets to make their mark on the runway. Instead of having real-life models strut their upcoming spring/summer 2021 collection, they sought out the perfect parade of puppets. From a distance, it appeared to be an ordinary fashion show. Looking a little closer revealed the strings controlling the puppet’s movements and their miniature clothes.
Moschino collaborated with Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, the visual effects company behind the Muppets to bring this show to life. With the help from this experienced team, they were able to showcase 40 looks from the spring/summer 2021 collection on 30-inch puppet models.
Jeremy Scott, the creative director for Moschino, felt his puppet show fit in with the current state of the world. “We need to dream, we need to be inspired,” Scott told Vogue. “We need to be uplifted and transported, now more than ever.”
From sweatpants to puppets, the week carried on with complete and hybrid virtual runways. Some companies allowed models to walk the runway while guests attended virtually, other companies posted videos and pictures of models wearing their new collections.
This may go down as the weirdest fashion week ever, but it brings new opportunity for the fashion industry and the week itself. Virtual, hybrid, casual clothing and puppets have the possibility to be incorporated in fashion weeks to come. This could help brands save millions of dollars and stick out from their competitors, or the industry may just go back to what they know. The key takeaways from 2020’s fashion week is where there is a will there is a way and what a year it’s been. Only time will tell the impact of this year’s fashion week, and it should be interesting to say the least.