Fashion Show Setups in the Era of COVID-19

person wearing fashionable clothes

The fashion industry was not spared when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Huge fashion shows that were covered by the press from around the world were facing a crisis. Though some shows were still held during the earlier months, designers had to reconsider how they would showcase their new collections in the coming months and possible years.

Fortunately, these people were no strangers to innovations. Designers quickly bounced back and did some amazing work and got created new ways to release their collections.

Models wearing masks

As face masks have become the new normal, fashion designers adapt by adding masks to their designs. We all know that normal disposable masks can really clash with our outfits. However, we can’t exactly continue doing events without them. That’s why the fashion industry just made it a part of their shows.

Although in the earlier months of 2020, there were models that had to go out on the catwalk without masks on. The newer shows and collections have started to include them. In last September’s Paris Fashion Week, Marine Serre was praised for its unique take on matching face masks. The practicality of the design was timely and even went beyond to cover the entire face of the models.

Fashion brands around the world, big and small, are creating branded masks for everyday use. Despite getting creative, these designers make sure that the quality is not compromised for its consumers’ safety.

A switch to online shows

Before, you would see fashion shows as big events with lots of people. Now, there are fewer people and more social distancing in place. Live events turned into live streams as their catwalks were viewed through Zoom and other platforms. However, some brands have pulled out of certain fashion shows completely for safety reasons.

Giorgio Armani started as early as February to start doing shows online. Although live catwalks were done, the location itself was empty save for the models. Some brands do livestream on certain platforms and private viewing for select designs and individuals. Others had guests, but they were significantly fewer than it normally would. The shows themselves weren’t that different from past ones. It still included events hosts and performances, but the difference is that they weren’t done in person.

It could very well be possible that we’ll be seeing fewer shows this 2021. Milan and Paris have expressed that shows this year will likely be digital. Others have announced that the release of their collections will be done through multiple platforms, so that’s something fashion enthusiasts can look out for.

person watching a show online

More outdoor catwalks

Another subtle trend in fashion shows last year were outdoor catwalks. Many of the shows held have moved their locations outside when possible. This allowed for more space and air circulation to reduce the spread of the virus.

In this year’s New York Fashion Week, Jason Wu hired designers to construct an outdoor catwalk at the rooftop of the Spring Studios in Manhattan. The location resembled a jungle, as guests were only limited to 50 people. This is just one example of the many events that decided to go with nature for their events.

Along with outdoor venues, you can also find that many of the guests were seated apart to practice social distancing. Face masks were also noticeably present and strictly enforced in all the events. Even the staff that helped the models change were wearing masks. Though the models themselves were not asked to wear masks when walking, that will likely change in the near future.

Using virtual models

We all know that being up-to-date with technology is important, and the fashion industry is no exception. It took a huge leap this year as it went from live catwalks to 3D rendered models. Since fashion shows may need to be suspended for the foreseeable future, many brands feel that even limited viewing shows are a risk. That’s how the fashion and tech industry came together.

Balenciaga even had its guests play a video game to witness their latest collection. All 330 of their guests worldwide were sent Oculus glasses for their viewing. To those who are unfamiliar with the name, these are Virtual Reality (VR) headsets that are connected to Playstations and computers. Their Fall 2021 line was featured in their video game called Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow.

They’re just one of many brands that started using virtual models. You can imagine how much time and money was spent on that, as even regular games take years to produce. This is a prime example of how technology has helped people go beyond the status quo.

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