The autumn/winter 2021 season has officially begun with the Milan menswear shows. Once expected to be a mix of physical, socially-distanced presentations and runways from Dolce & Gabbana, Etro and Fendi, alongside many livestreams, the week has been pared down dramatically. After Dolce & Gabbana cancelled its show in favour of small, one-on-one appointments and Fendi converted from a live event to a digital one, Etro stands alone as the sole physical show at Milan’s menswear week—and even then, the show will take place without an audience.
Paris’s menswear week, which begins on 19 January, is expected to be mostly digital as well, while the couture shows, beginning on 25 January, will be a fully digital, audience-free affair. London’s combined men’s and women’s fashion week, pushed to 19 to 23 February, will be entirely digital as well, as a result of the United Kingdom’s current strict lockdown. While these details are certain, there is still much that’s up in the air with ever-changing health regulations and travel restrictions. Here, we’ve broken down exactly what to expect from the upcoming autumn/winter 2021 season.
Pitti Uomo: The Florentine trade show went virtual this season, with livestreamed events starting on 12 January. Brunello Cucinelli—the designer responsible for Silicon Valley’s cashmere trouser boom—headed up the festival with a stream direct from his Solomeo, Italy estate. Other brands like Kiton and Herno have also presented new collections via livestream, while the trade show component of the event is expected to return in a physical way from 21 to 23 February.
Milan Fashion Week Men’s: Etro will be the lone live show at Milan Fashion Week Men’s on 17 January. Otherwise, we’ll be tuning in for livestreams and lookbook reveals, including Ermenegildo Zegna on 15 January, Fendi on the 16th, Raf Simons and Miuccia Prada’s menswear debut on the 17th, Missoni on the 18th, and A-Cold-Wall on the 19th.
Paris Fashion Week Men’s: Paris’s menswear schedule, available through the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, does indicate there will be several live shows, including Rick Owens and Louis Vuitton on 21 January, Dior Men on 22 January, and Hermès on 23 January, though it’s not known if these will be in-person shows or livestreams of audience-free events. Either way, the Parisian schedule is full with new collections from Berluti, Rhude, JW Anderson Yohji Yamamoto, Dries Van Noten, Botter, Isabel Marant, Vetements, Wales Bonner, Loewe, Jil Sander, Thom Browne, Y/Project, Lemaire, Alyx, Celine, Junya Watanabe, Comme Des Garçons Homme Plus, Heron Preston, and many more.
Paris Couture Fashion Week: When couture brides from Chanel, Christian Dior, Valentino, and Maison Margiela walk the runway, they’ll be doing it virtually. All of Paris’s official couture shows will be livestreamed, some pre-recorded and others held live without an audience, for example Giorgio Armani is planning to do his from the brand’s Milan headquarters. Newcomers to the couture schedule, like Charles de Vilmorin, Alber Elbaz’s AZ Factory, S.R. Studio L.A. C.A., and Area will have to figure out exciting ways to convey the magic and craft of couture digitally, while long-standing members like Giambattista Valli, Alaïa, Iris Van Herpen, and Schiaparelli have at least one season of digital experience to rely on. In addition, the industry will surely be talking about Kim Jones’s debut at Fendi, where he is taking on womenswear and couture for the first time. That’s set for 27 January.
New York Fashion Week: Officially scheduled from 14 to 18 February, New York Fashion Week is expected to be mostly virtual. The Council of Fashion Designers of America has not made any official statements yet, nor have any American designers, so there’s a chance for some guerrilla shows like Eckhaus Latta’s sidewalk spring/summer 2021 event to pop up closer to these dates.
London Fashion Week: From 19 to 23 February, London Fashion Week will take place without any audiences. “Despite all the challenges the last few years have brought, I truly believe that the creativity, agility, and business savvy of our sector will prevail and the societal conscious of our British businesses and fashion workforce will see us re-calibrate to not only be strong creatively, but strong sustainably too,” wrote Caroline Rush, the CEO of the British Fashion Council, in a statement about the digital-only shows.
Milan and Paris’s womenswear Fashion Weeks: The fate of the Milan and Paris’s womenswear collections, planned for the end of February and the beginning of March, seems to hinge on the success of both cities’ menswear shows this month and the changing Covid precautions in each location. Expect updates following the couture shows about what’s physical, what’s digital, and what’s coming off the calendar until a later date.
This article was originally published on Vogue.com