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Fashion shows are events meant to aesthetically showcase a point of view, a mood, creativity and technical skills to the public via a clothing line. Usually these shows involve models walking down the ramp donning clothes created by the designer. A fashion show would normally feature one or more designers. As a result, the attendees and viewers could get a glimpse of what the trends for the season are, what the worn garments would look like, the fabrics used and the amount of detail and craftsmanship on every garment. These shows also spread awareness reading the new arrivals in design and style.
Fashion shows play an important part in making the career of budding designers and in keeping the buzz going for the established ones. These events add to a Designer’s portfolio showcasing their caliber and talent. The shows are attended by individuals directly connected to the fashion and retail industry. Garment merchandisers, export house officials and distributors frequently visit these such events for stocking garment collections that feature at respective shows.
However the pandemic has changed the way we view fashion shows now. The new term is phygital - pre- recorded films displayed against a physical runway at an outdoor location.
#1 The Prada S/S21
One of the most anticipated brands, Prada, presented its summer womenswear collection at the Milan Fashion Week. There was no physical show, yet the brand delivered one of the best virtual runway presentations till date. The show included tight, lingering shots which revealed even the minutest details of garments, which felt incredibly personal to the viewer. Plus, the virtual show also included a Q&A with Raf and Miuccia at the end of the show, in which questions asked by fans from across the world were answered by the brand's designers.
# 2. Balmain
Olivier Rousteing from Balmain delivered one of the finest virtual fashion shows as he unveiled his newest collection for the SS21 season. Unfortunately, due to the prevailing pandemic, many of his regular guests were unable to attend the event in person. However, the designer installed three rows of giant TV screens that were set up according to the length of the runway, which allowed his regular attendants to catch all of the action. Anna Wintour, Kris Jenner, Cindy Crawford, and Cara Delevingne were some of the familiar faces spotted on the screens.
Moschino’s creative director, Jeremy Scott let his creative juices flow in his latest event. He put up a doll parade to showcase his spring/summer 2020 collection. The designer created a whole collection of doll-sized clothes that were displayed on a ramp by puppet dolls. Jeremy also created dolls of his regular front-row patrons, including Anna Wintour and Hamish Bowles. After the event he was quoted saying “The best thing I could do for everyone who is stressed about the election, the pandemic, social unrest, and the future was to give the gift of fantasy and take us away from all of it for a few minutes; let us enjoy this little fashion world of ours.”
Fashion shows are highly popular amongst all fashion enthusiasts as these recurring events showcase the rigorous effort put in by dedicated designers. Unfortunately, due to the Covid19- pandemic, all fashion shows have taken a hit and needed to be canceled. This left the entire fashion industry in disarray, but virtual events emerged as an alternate solution to this problem. Designers have started to collaborate with tech-companies to create immersive mixed reality experiences and use computer-generated models to display the clothes.Learning Fashion Designing is a lot of hard work and requires innovation, imagination, expression, grit and determination to complete the course. The culmination of a course results in a fashion show where the graduating students display their creativity, individual style and aesthetics. Members of the industry are invited to visit and view the work on display.
The pandemic changed everything overnight. Fashion designing colleges had to close as lockdowns were imposed by the governments concerned. All gatherings had to be canceled. Many students in their final years were thrown into disarray as their end-term submissions required their physical presence for evaluation. The Graduate Shows, was also therefore a non starter. However, a large majority of the universities and colleges shifted to digital alternatives and partnerships to help students showcase their final year projects despite the coronavirus crisis. Some of these institutions opted for virtual fashion shows, while others chose online creative networks like Behance and Indiefolio to showcase final-year projects.
In Palatine, Illinois, Harper college hosted their fashion department’s annual show titled ‘Unmasked: Spirit of the Times’ on the 29th of May, 2021. The event featured 30 fashion design students. A few of the student submissions have been compiled and put up for viewing on the college Youtube channel. Some other fashion design colleges hosted their virtual fashion shows in a format that accommodates in-person video presentations. These shows help position the fashion graduates in the world of fashion as company representatives and dignitaries from the retail domain were able to attend these fashion events virtually and offer job and business opportunities to participants.
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