Statement from Rewiring Fashion
The Council of Fashion Designers of America and the British Fashion Council also issued their own statement, encouraging designers to no longer formally present Cruise lines at all, focusing on two main collections each year instead. Pre-collections ‘not necessarily sufficiently fashion forward to warrant a show’, the statement read, should be presented only in showrooms. Although still in their early stages, these initiatives show that traditions are being reassessed, by big and small players alike.
‘A calendar is practical for us to think ahead, plan and better manage production, buying and merchandising,’ says fashion stylist Veronica Li. ‘But I do think the calendar for the future might shift more towards sustainability rather than short-lived seasonal trends. Right now it’s about rethinking what the purpose of fashion shows is, slowing down, revisiting how fashion was done in the past, and, for designers, finding ways to stay engaged on their own terms.’
That might mean continuing with the current format, doing away with it completely or inventing a whole new schedule, together or alone. In a nutshell: making things as flexible as possible. ‘The standard fashion month calendar has a structure that works for some brands, but not necessarily for all companies,’ says Justine Lee, a fashion writer, stylist and consultant. ‘While Gucci and Saint Laurent have already said they’ll no longer adhere to the fashion week schedule, and will be showcasing their collections when they’re ready, other labels, like Chanel, thrive in the current structure. I think after this pandemic, brands will have a clearer picture of what kind of structure works for them and their audience, and perhaps find alternative ways to present their designs.’
Younger designers in particular might be more prone to experiment with new ways of showing. For the past two years, for instance, Kerby Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss has only shown once a year. Similarly, before the pandemic hit, Tomo Koizumi and Batsheva Hay decided to only show once for 2020. ‘Emerging designers might focus more on drops, or other ways of conceiving how their work is scattered throughout the year,’ says fashion writer and editor Zaneta Cheng. ‘Although I still think seasonal, real-life showcases — whatever format they take — will remain a mainstay.’