In a twist befitting of 2020’s continual roller coaster, this year, fashion week went virtual—for the first time in history.
Fashion week had a whole new look and direction for spring/summer 2021, including this ensemble from Louis Vuitton.
Fashion week has never looked more different than it did for the spring/summer 2021 collections. Gone were the masses of editors, buyers, retailers, journalists, celebrities and street-style stars who make a grueling, seemingly never-ending month—a mix of guilty pleasures and grin-and-bear-it tolerance that permeates the biannual circus.
The setting for the Louis Vuitton show inside iconic Parisian department store La Samaritaine
While I normally would have been packing multiple bags to attend the collections, this season all I had to do was turn on my Mac and select the least-worn pair of sweatpants I could find. (All right, mine were cashmere, but to be clear, those trusty elastic-waist pieces of pure heaven became a symbol that this season was not business as usual.)
Chanel’s ode to Hollywood
Karl Lagerfeld famously once said, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.” I can only imagine how many well-turned-out editors—who are the epitome of style, mind you—donned sweatpants as they watched the collections from the safety of their own home office.
Movie legend Isabelle Huppert starred in Roger Vivier’s interactive film shorts.
Designers, on the other hand, knew they had a monumental task in front of them. How could they show clothing for a world that may not see the light at the end of the tunnel yet? In this instance, fashion did what fashion does best. It reinvented and reimagined what the fashion show experience could—and quite possibly should—be.
Moschino’s Jeremy Scott turned himself, his models and the front row into marionettes.
There were virtual shows that completely blew my mind. While receiving hard-copy invitations for events in front of a screen seemed a bit of a folly, there were indeed many standouts—from Moschino’s marionette parade of haute couture to Roger Vivier’s fashionable film starring the resplendent Isabelle Huppert to Balmain’s virtual front row packed with a Kardashian or two.
I was particularly comfortable in my own virtual “front-row seat” at Louis Vuitton as I was able to see who my seatmates were thanks to the miracle of modern technology. Megahouses like Chanel, Prada and Valentino went for a more traditional catwalk but nonetheless still managed to make us dream, which, in the end, is and will always be fashion’s No. 1 job.
Photography by: From top: courtesy of Louis Vuitton; by Grégoire Vieille;
by Olivier Saillant; courtesy of Roger Vivier; courtesy of Moschino