Amid the pandemic, the future of fashion, or at least future of the twice-yearly fashion week was uncertain. But as the likes of Dior, Loewe and Prada proved early last week, a full runway presentation is more than possible and sans a normal audience, in fact allows room for innovative ideas and technological advances by way of live streaming. From art house-style films, fresh collaborations and tactile activations, a new era of luxury fashion was ushered in this past week.
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The weekend continued the virtual style circuit and saw a number of new collections for Spring/Summer 2021. While the usual plethora of brands was notably more quiet than years gone by, major power players still appeared on the schedule including Gucci and Jacquemus.
In late May, Gucci announced it would go seasonless. According to Alessandro Michele, it meant combining both mens and womens looks into one presentation and while the house would still show twice a year, it would depart the scheduled events in February and September. Broadcast via live stream, the lauded designer revealed ‘Epilogue’, a conclusive chapter in the narrative arc that began with his last show ‘An Unrepeatable Ritual’, when he started celebrating the magic of fashion by unveiling what lies behind the curtains of a beloved liturgy.
The livestream took viewers behind-the-scenes of production and the finished looks were classically Gucci: ’60s and ’70s boho and mismatched patterns with a luxury twist.
2020 marks the 110th anniversary for Ermenegildo Zegna and with a history that begun with a textile mill, the brand has always had a strong connection with nature. Ermenegildo Zegna XXX Summer 2021 collection, a project that includes both clothing and a different way to present them fusing a digital and a live experience, is an exploration of the unique bond between nature and machine whose connection is the man himself.
As the collection title ‘Nature Man Machine’ alludes, the runway was set against a number of backdrops; open fields and forests; machinery and large structures. The looks were true to the design ethos of Zegna with a focus on fluid and relaxed tailoring, layered forms and a poetic sense of functionality.
It was just 12 months ago when Jacquemus presented Spring/Summer 2020 in open scapes of lavender. Spring/Summer 2021 was no different albeit with a social distant runway presentation set in a field of barley. Unlike other designers, Simon Porte Jacquemus told Vogue, “For me, the runway can’t be a video. It’s at the heart of what we do; it’s not superficial. It’s important to all of us to continue, just like a restaurant that reopens. It’s like a movie of a summer day. It’s our life.”
In turn, the collection was like past events with runway images sent to social media. Silhouettes were beachy; slouchy blazers and shirts and oversized pants.
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"As an idea for this collection, L’Amour began as something different. I imagined people gathered together celebrating love. Alexander Ekman’s choreography of wheat tossed passionately through the air. Emir Kursturica’s film, Time of the Gypsies with its enchanting realism. These scenes of ceremony large and small. But what’s so beautiful about L’Amour is how it can endure—sometimes even grow stronger—in the absence of people being together. Not long after my team was separated from each other, we were all in our homes feeling the desire to work, and a new vision of the collection emerged. We became a human chain, every step of the creative process executed with love. In fact, every decision I make concerning JACQUEMUS is motivated first by love and common sense. It’s why we shifted to a more sustainable rhythm last year, with two shows combining menswear and womenswear, held in January and June. This decision ended up saving us this season, since we had received all our fabric orders ahead of the confinement. Deciding to go ahead with our usual collection schedule and with a show is at the heart of our visual identity, our commercial strategy. With this smaller collection, presented mainly to our family and friends, we bring our interior worlds out into the open, interpreting the humble fabrics and objects we live with that have their own poems to tell. Within the home, L’Amour reveals itself in small wonders. Separate but collectively, we realized that the home is a place of endless inspiration. These impressions are what I wanted to recreate in this setting today, where we have been fully sensitive to the circumstances. My team has put in an enormous effort these last few months, and I am so grateful that we arrived here, that we are gathered together in the end. For me, it is important for people to see that a true celebration of L’Amour is universal." Simon
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For Tod’s Pre-Spring 2021, new creative director Walter Chiapponi took viewers into the very heart of the company, established in creativity. Shot at the brands Headquarters in Brancadoro, which is in the Le Marche region of Italy, Inside Tod’s Studio unveiled the world of Tod’s and its collections, from the initial concept to the final phase of craftsmanship.
The collection itself was shown on models who stood amongst the workshop to present the forthcoming collection. The Men’s collection is strikingly masculine with male wardrobe classics and its design cue drawn from the ’70s. And in addition, the classic Tod’s loafer saw a new iteration.