Replacing the standard format of a traditional show, the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode has been forced to navigate into a progressive new digital age for the Couture Fall-Winter 2020/21 shows, giving designers extraordinary scope to create new methods of storytelling.
Hosting a series of videos that mimic the general ebb and flow of a traditional fashion week, a path has been carved to start from the beginning as such and experiment with new virtual methods of communicating emotion. From Iris van Herpen’s short film aptly titled ‘transmotion’, inspired by the work of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, to Dior’s digital mythical journey that takes us through a series of magical landscapes, referencing art from the Pre-Raphaelite period, designers have played with the idea of combining art, technology and nature as a symbol of regrowth.
Could Covid-19 spell the end of an industry as we once knew? The outcome remains divided and only time will tell, but there is no doubt that these new methods of communication will take time to develop and curate in a way that the public and buyers can resonate with. One thing is certain — we must continue to reevaluate with a new sense of spontaneity and invention in these uncharted waters ahead in order to flourish.
1. Giambattista Valli
In his 18-piece virtual lookbook and video presentation, all of Valli’s key elements were very much there. The push and pull of volume, oversized taffeta bows, feathers, and unabashed grandeur, was showcased by Joan Smalls in an unapologetic homage to Paris and the utter romance of couture.
2. Iris van Herpen
There was no question that Iris van Herpen would thrive in a digital format, as a designer so in tune with challenging tradition. In a short film aptly titled ‘transmotion’, and inspired by the work of Dutch artist Maurits Cornelis Escher, van Herpen plays with the idea of combining art, technology, and nature as a symbol of growth.
3. Georges Hobeika
As Lebanon faces a further social and economic crisis, Hobeika dedicated his Couture Fall-Winter 2020/21 collection live on Instagram to the Arab woman. Rich in saturated color, the Maison is proud to announce the use of faux fur in a positive move toward a sustainable and cruelty-free future.
4. Christian Dior
Leaning on the notion of fantasy and whimsy, Maria Grazia Chiuri’s otherworldly gowns were showcased in a poignant video presentation by Italian film director Matteo Garrone. We joined Chiuri on a mythical journey of magical landscapes that reference art from the Pre-Raphaelite period, as models showcased meticulously crafted looks with embroidered tulle, feathers, and theatrical voluminous capes.
Virginie Viard created a somewhat more upbeat and rebellious mood for her Fall-Winter 2020/21 presentation, showcasing the house’s roots in skilled craftsmanship and understood opulence. Some of the classic structured embellished tweeds were present, alongside the addition of voluminous silhouettes in full-skirted taffeta, high shine metallics that take reference from the ’90s with a feeling of youthful optimism and a definite nod to punk.