Friday, January 15, 2021

Yes, It's That Time Again, 2021

Regular readers know that twice a year, I blog about all the fascinating, beautiful, mesmerizing, strange, puzzling, outrageous, outstanding, unusual, artistic, inspiring sartorial creations coming out of the exquisite imaginations of designers, and down the runway. Regular readers may have also gleaned that I follow fashion the way some people delve into the art world. I think of "fashion" as "costume"--as a way to convey an idea or a concept. I appreciate what some designers do the same way one appreciates what an avant garde sculptor or painter or performance artist does. And in a way, these designers are performance artists. For me, it is not about what is hanging on racks in stores, but what these artists are creating and the ideas and concepts they are working with as an influence on their marvelous creativity. It is moving sculpture. It is theater. Fashion and clothing at this level serve as a kind of visual shorthand. A piece of clothing in the hands of a designer can evoke a place, a region, a country, a specific time or an entire era, a work of art such as a novel or film or painting, a class of people, even a social, financial, or spiritual element... and the combination of such pieces of clothing, as well as their harmony or contrast, can tell a fascinating story.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has brought tremendous suffering and change to the world. And the fashion industry has seen major seismic shifts not only in presentation but also in philosophy. Many houses have decided to cut the number of shows they present per year. Most have decided to gang men's and women's shows into one. And most major brands are taking hard looks at how they do business in terms of waste and sustainability. These changes seem like they are not just put in place during the virus...they seem to be permanent.

So the usual compact show schedule is a little wonky this year. In the past, the season always started in London, then went to Florence for the Pitti Uomo trade show, picked up in Milan, then finished in Paris. Not so this year:


Milano Moda Uomo
January 15 - 19, 2021

Paris Fashion Week Homme
January 19 - 24, 2021


London Fashion Week (Men's and Women's)
February 19 - 23, 2021

Pitti Uomo, Florence
February 21 - 23, 2021

As you can see, London is a genderless week, featuring shows for both sexes. And I am sure we can expect many innovative on-line films and lookbooks from designers. It is an exciting new medium to explore, one with the capacity to reach so many more people.

Stay tuned...we will all be exploring this newly transformed world together.

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