THE FUTURE OF FASHION | #LFWMENS GOES DIGITAL | THE RUNDOWN OF FASHION WEEK | JUST BEING MEG
Throwback to April, the British Fashion Council announced that for the first time in its 40 year history, London Fashion Week Men's would become a digital-only event.
The digital event, which kicked off on the 12th June, has been solely focused on hitting 'reset'.
I really liked the meaning behind this year's fashion week. With everything going on in the world right now, with Covid-19 and the black lives matter movement, the entire world has hit the reset button and is changing in so many ways.
Due to the virus, everyone's lives have come to a complete halt. Gone are the days of running for the tube and skipping lunches because we are too busy. We're connecting and realising what's important. We are putting our energy into making change and fighting for what's right with global protests for the Black Lives Matter movement. Quoting from Louise Gray's film from LFW "emotional and cultural change is needed" and that's exactly what is happening.
With the absence of physical catwalks, the digital event was packed with content of short films, interviews, podcasts, digital showrooms and after-parties.
Exclusive footage and interviews, I believe, has helped fashion become more personable and to connect with a more public-facing audience. To quote Lou Dalton, "sometimes you get a bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights, thinking 'it's all about the show' when really, it's always been about producing clothes for you. It's all about the product, it's always been about the detail". Fashion going forward will no longer be about who can put on the fanciest show but more about bringing it back to the sole purpose of why we make clothes in the first place.
We are becoming more resourceful. We are about to have the worst economic crash in 300 years. Thousands have lost their jobs and homes, so fashion isn't exactly the forefront of everyone's minds.
Designers and creatives have now been forced to explore why exactly we are compelled to create and the impact this can have. Most designers agreed that a positive impact can be made by becoming more sustainable and using sustainable fabrics. An excellent example of this was a film by menswear designer Robyn Lynch (supported by Rapha). Robyn challenged herself to make a capsule collection of twelve pieces, using only re-appropriated deadstock materials and returned garments from Rapha as well as Robyn's own spare fabrics from her previous collections, with the whole aim to practice and encourage resourcefulness. You can check out her journey and collection here.
But what does all this mean for the future of fashion? Well firstly, with the announcement of Saint Laurent, Gucci Giorgio Armani and Dries Van Noten announcing they will no longer show during traditional fashion weeks, the high-end 'leaders' of the game now have the opportunity to lead fashion the way they want, with a deeper opportunity for creative connect. Saint Laurent has claimed that it "lead its own rhythm … connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives.” This could mean a huge change for the high-end market, choosing a direction which is more personable to the day-today person could open up a whole new customer base, allowing higher-end brands to be more accessible whilst remaining desirable.
This also means complete ease in pressure for designers and seamstresses. If you know anything about the industry you'll know these people work round the clock all year long to produce the most gorgeous garments and shows. This also means there is a huge strain on the supply chain with a "profound effect on the environment" (Lizzy Bowring, head of catwalks at WGSN)
As well as resourcefulness, we can expect to see an ease on our environmental impact, with designers, journalists and buyers constantly travelling, the carbon footprint is predicted to drop significantly during this time.
Finally, people are now questioning the relevancy and need for physical catwalks.
Overall, the unprecedented circumstances mean a major and lasting change to the fashion industry. Unsure on whether we will see a fully digital fashion world, designers will likely choose a combination of both physical and digital with fewer and far between shows. Creatives now have the chance to become more sustainable and get back to the nit and grit of the creativity of the industry as well as connecting and defining their audience. There has been forced change and this is just the beginning.
Thanks for reading,
Just Being Meg