Is This the Future of the Fashion Show | Sunday Observer

Is This the Future of the Fashion Show

The next round of fashion shows will be virtual fashion shows. This is not in doubt.

The British Fashion Council announced at the end of April that it would be combining its men’s and women’s shows during what used to be London Fashion Week. It also plans to roll out an entirely digital ‘cultural fashion week platform’ for designers to use as they see fit. Shanghai and Moscow went digital for their fashion weeks in late March and April.

Ermenegildo Zegna, the Italian men’s wear powerhouse, is forgoing ye olde schedule entirely and doing its own digital thing in July, for which it has a whole new word: phygital (that’s physical space and digital technologies).

What does it mean? An answer of sorts was provided recently.

The occasion was Fashion Unites, a YouTube-streamed edition of CR Runway, the special fashion show run by Carine Roitfeld, the former French Vogue editor and Tom Ford muse, and her son, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, the President and Chief Executive of CR Fashion Book Ltd., to raise money for the amfAR Fund to fight Covid-19. Billed as ‘the first of its kind’ by its host, Derek Blasberg, the head of fashion and beauty for YouTube, it was hailed as ‘a high-fashion runway show entirely from home’.

Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino and Virgil Abloh of Off-White and Louis Vuitton were there, sending messages of safety and love.

The models Karlie Kloss, Winnie Harlow, Stella Maxwell and Joan Smalls strutted their stuff in their own stuff in their homes, as directed from afar by the go-to experts of fashion weeks past: Sam McKnight for hair, Tom Pecheux for makeup and Stephen Galloway for movement. Michel Gaubert, who has a practical monopoly on runway soundtracks, did the music.

And the result was … charming. But ultimately it was less about the pleasure and potential of clothes than about the pleasure of voyeuristic glimpses of famous people in their homes.

Or rather, when it came to the models — in their kitchens (Halima Aden’s, in chic black and white, matched her black and white outfit), bathrooms and closets (Alessandra Ambrosio’s being particularly organised and impressive). Kim Kardashian West spoke in front of her tastefully monochromatic garden in a tastefully monochromatic top.There were behind-the-scenes glimpses of the experts giving ‘tutorials’ from afar: Pecheux suggesting the makeup be ‘focused on a smoky black eye’; McKnight, wearing a mask, urging, Keep it natural. Galloway chanting: “Sell it, ladies. Feel the fabric!” And so they did: Natasha Poly in a Paco Rabanne chain-link minidress strutted through a loft with an all-black kitchen as a backdrop, not a fork out of place. Ms. Kloss, in a little navy suit with gold buttons, also strode a very long loft corridor.