The advent of coronavirus disease resulted in the cancellation of the famous fashion weeks around the globe, keeping the designers away from the awaited launch of the spring-summer collection. With the important norms to prevent the spread of the novel disease, it seems like the conventional fashion shows are about to change their trajectories.
Digitization has changed the world in irrevocable ways, leading to a more convenient and mobile lifestyle. Event the fashion industry experienced some major changes, with the emergence of online shopping, but some areas of fashion remain untouched. However, The current situation of social distancing might become the reason for these areas to explore the digital environment. Propelled by the new normal of today, many designers have resorted to hosting virtual fashion events, believing that this might prove to be a revolutionary change.
In the wake of COVID-19, Giorgio Armani, the celebrated Italian designer organized a fashion show in an empty theater and aired it on online channels for its viewers. On the other hand, Dalu Krishanadas, a famous choreographer hosted a quarantine special fashion show in which he portrayed life in quarantine by showcasing different models who wore fashionable attires while performing house chores.
However, the transformation is not that simple. Fashion weeks are the charm of the entire industry, the amount of money and efforts involved in these events is enormous and irreplaceable. Though virtual events might transform into a trendy business but would never create an impact as intense as the physical ones. The intricacy offered by the physical fashion events is incomparable and impossible to emulate with the virtual ones.
Organisers of couture and fashion weeks, too, have their misgivings about fashion shows going online. Satish Jupiter, who conducts couture weeks, says, “Nothing can match the ambiance of a live show. But given the circumstances, small shows can be done on a trial basis on virtual platforms. But I’m not sure how fashion weeks that involve celebs, models, and designers could be turned into virtual events, by zooming through a small box. Also, how far will sponsors come forward and support such shows is another concern.”
Whether the fashion shows would totally become virtual, is still a question. However, considering the present scenario, many countries and fashion brands decided to conduct these on online platforms. The list is as follows:
• The world’s first entirely virtual fashion week, Shanghai Fashion Week, took place from March 24-30, 2020.
• Designer Angel Chen demonstrated the possibilities of the format with a presentation featuring real models and computer graphics
• Moscow’s Fashion Week, held in a digital format on April 4 and 5, had 8,30,000 people streaming the shows
• The New York Bridal Fashion Week went virtual and was held from April 16-20
• The British Fashion Council has decided to replace its London Fashion Week men’s showcase in June with a digital event
• Helsinki Fashion Week, in July, will also be digital, with all collections being