London Fashion Week kicks off in a virtual format on Friday as the coronavirus is on lockdown and mainstays like Victoria Beckham avoid the event while others like Burberry adopt the online avatar.
Despite the lack of global celebrities and fashionistas, designers like Turkish Bora Aksu, British Molly Goddard and Irish Simone Rocha will stream their collections on the London Fashion Week website.
Most of the 94 designers participating in the show, which ends Tuesday, will be broadcasting video highlights of their collections showing men’s, women’s, or mixed fashion in an event that is now gender-neutral.
On Monday, the British brand Burberry – known for its tailor-made trench coats – presents its autumn / winter collection for men’s fashion for 2021, which was designed by the Italian creative director Riccardo Tisci.
In September, the brand presented its Spring / Summer 2021 collection in a film in the middle of the forest and broadcast it live on Twitch. The streaming platform is growing in popularity, broadcasts live video games and offers the opportunity to post live comments. More than 40,000 people watched the innovative show, which could be viewed from different perspectives.
– Effects of Brexit –
Former Spice Girl and designer Victoria Beckham will showcase their creations a few days before London Fashion Week. Her collection, which mixes the seasons, is meant to be “optimistic but realistic,” she explained.
Beckham lived under coronavirus lockdown in Florida, where her husband, former English soccer captain David Beckham, is now one of the co-owners of American professional soccer club Inter Miami. During the pandemic, the former pop star said “people still want to dress up” but with “a need for comfort”.
Her designs contain military details that evoke a “sense of protection – a toughness,” she added. Her collection also shows a lighter, more delicate side with dresses made of jersey fabric or with prints of flowers and goldfish.
The happier designs stand in stark contrast to the dire outlook for the UK fashion industry, which has been seriously hit by the pandemic. The UK has suffered more than 118,000 deaths from Covid-19 and has been subject to national lockdowns since January.
The fashion sector, which employs more than 890,000 people and contributed £ 35 billion (US $ 48 million, € 39 billion) to UK GDP in 2019, was also hit by Brexit and the end of free movement between the EU and the island nation.
In early February, hundreds of fashion figures – including former top models like Twiggy and Yasmin Le Bon – signed an open letter coordinated by the industry forum Fashion Roundtable, warning the sector of a decimation due to Brexit.
To increase the visibility of young talent amid the pandemic, the British Fashion Council, which represents the industry, has partnered with social media giant TikTok.
The umbrella organization has also partnered with Clearpay, a group that enables customers to “buy now, pay later” to increase sales.