NEARLY ONE YEAR into a global shutdown with nary a live fashion show or red carpet, tennis champions Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka drew a record viewership for their distinctly stylish Feb. 17 semifinal match of the 2021 Australian Open. I stayed up late to watch the two stars play, along with over a million other fans around the world. Aside from the women’s athletic prowess, what struck me was their confident, individualistic outfits, both by
After our collective year of sagging sweatpants, Ms. Williams wore a one-legged, Florence Griffith-Joyner-inspired catsuit in hot pink and black, while Ms. Osaka, the match’s victor, sported a dark, camo-printed one-piece under a neon-orange skirt. Starched tennis whites these were not.
“It’s insane,” said Caitlin Thompson, publisher of the independent quarterly magazine Racquet, of the reinvigorated focus on the sport. “You turn on the TV and you see these amazing, young [people],
Roll up, roll up! For AW21, Loewe is cancelled. At least that’s the headline in thousands of newspapers that the Spanish house has printed and circulated today in the weekend editions of broadsheets around the world. A specially-produced Loewe newspaper is tucked into the Le Figaro, The New York Times, Le Monde et al with the headline ‘THE LOEWE SHOW HAS BEEN CANCELLED’ splashed across its front page. By now it will have reached millions of unsuspecting readers. And therein lies the genius of Jonathan Anderson. He’s fashion’s Cassandra; the well-dressed woman’s Warhol. For the last year he’s come up with inventive alternatives to physical fashion shows, and in doing so has broadened the appeal of them, transforming them from industry-insider events that make an fleeting splash on timelines into enjoy-at-home physical artefacts, symbolic tokens of the seismic changes we’ve experienced during lockdown. Jonathan
In recent years, Versace have owned the “you had to be there” fashion show. See a surprise appearance by Jennifer Lopez in 2019, and a surfeit of original supermodels in 2017. But, in the midst of a pandemic, even Donatella Versace – that icon of party-ready glamour – has had to settle for an at-home audience, possibly in sweatpants, and a digital show.
The brand’s autumn collection was shown as part of a digital Milan Fashion Week, via a film starring Bella and Gigi Hadid and Irina Shayk. It featured shiny minidresses, crop tops and va-va-voom LBDs for women, and flowing silk shorts and shiny vinyl textures for men. Also included were a new print and a version of the Medusa logo with a smiley face, which the press release called “a symbol of celebration, freedom and dancefloor communities”. Versace’s collection is ready when – and if –
Almost a year ago, Marc Jacobs showed what I then described as the first post-Instagram fashion show. It was a live dance performance at the Park Avenue Armory, choreographed by Karole Armitage into a vibrant chaos. Crucially, it was impossible to take in exclusively through the Instagram photographs and videos posted by the attendees. You really did have to be there. The resulting runway images, messy and unfocused, seemed alive and artful. After spending so long courting the entire world, fashion seemed ready to turn back in on itself, speaking instead to small groups of connoisseurs and diehards who were as fluent in McQueen’s work in Givenchy and Jacobs’s at Vuitton as they were in those houses’ current output.
The pandemic replaced that introspection with a much larger existential question: what are all these designers doing at all? The runway is on pause, and in its stead a whole
Runway nostalgia seems to be reaching a peak this season, with designers who strode headlong into the untrodden territory of the fashion film back in September now returning to the familiar confines of the fashion show — albeit pre-recorded, rather than before an audience in real time. One brand that remains committed to doing things differently, though, is Onitsuka Tiger. Making its debut on the official Milan Fashion Week schedule, the Japanese label debuted its AW21 collection in the form of a fittingly titled film, UNFASHIONSHOW.
Doing as it says on the tin, the video — a slick, neon-bathed studio production — subverts expectations of what you might expect of a designer’s presentation, better resembling “a music video than a fashion show,” says Andrea Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger’s creative director. Featuring three bright stars of the Milanese scene — singer and performer M¥SS KETA, dancer Gabriele Esposito, and