Maybe the shutdown wasn’t too bad for fashion.

The first virtual fashion season isn’t over yet – Michael Kors and Tori Birch are out next week, and Raf Simons will launch a women’s line under his own name on October 23 – but it’s clear to some designers that the good of a pandemic is creativity. It forces them to think differently. “We don’t do enough things in fashion,” Stella McCartney said in a webinar with reporters.

For years, McCartney showed off at the same location – the Opera Garnier – during Paris Fashion Week, although he doubts why the industry has stuck to a ritual for decades. This time, however, she went to Houghton Hall, a stately home in Norfolk, England known for the Richard Long Land Art series, and photographed their models on the lawn. It also creates the long-talked about A-to-Z sustainability manifesto and a growing number of brands are putting it into practice.

Nothing has changed more than John Galliano. Since becoming creative director Martin Margiela in 2014, former designer Dior has been practically invisible and has had limited contact with reporters and the public to seasonal podcasts. Anonymity was certainly part of Margiela’s story, which its founder eventually followed. But Galliano is an English punk star with Spanish roots who turned the track into theater with his own late 1990s skit-comedy performance. So the Northern European reserve mask never fits.

And thanks to COVID, he really got out. For Margiela, Galliano used a scene from what is perhaps the most tedious production in Paris – a model moving in a simple white room. But this time, Galliano wasn’t working on a live show, but with photographer Nick Knight in a 45-minute video. During the creation of the spring collection, he brought the audience to Margiela’s studio. The moment was cut short with a fantastic wedding scene in Argentina with lots of tango. It is the second Galliano and Knight film in early July – a first for haute couture – and it’s almost difficult to move on from a previously strict production.

Equally important are films reminiscent of Galliano’s creative intelligence.

For journalists, all of these videos, webinars, zoom interviews, albums and manifestations mean extra work, though useful. Before COVID, all you had to do was sit back and watch a show and then let your imagination run wild. I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days about the advantages and disadvantages of the haute couture industry due to the effects of the pandemic. To some extent, Zoom’s calls and press packs serve to shut down your senses in my opinion. And because we experience all of these things remotely or digitally, what matters is how we see and interpret images.

What I see in the work of many designers – here particularly Galliano, McCartney and Christopher John Rodgers from America – is the gift of time. We take for granted that designers have time to get creative, but this is what they’ve been complaining about the most in recent years. The key shows the benefits of more time. This is evident in the accuracy of their ideas and especially in the quality and execution of Rodgers and Galliano.

McCartney often preaches against extravagance, but unlike the two dozen hot outfits at Houghton, his previous collection now looks too crowded. She perfected the sewing into a thin, sharp jacket with slightly fuller trousers. It was season in overalls and oversized coats – from The Row to Vuitton to Balenciaga, to Drownings. But McCartney got the proportions right. Her collection features sporty heels that are really cool, but instead of being literal, she confines herself to shapes, for example, biker shorts – then turning them into monochrome with powder blue lace that has been remodeled from her previous outfit. . In general, his appearance was younger and more appropriate, as if McCartney was pleased to have finally been fired from the Paris race.

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