Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 July 2020

Milan is the latest major fashion week to announce a new digital format

Following Shanghai and London, Milan will take its June fashion week online

As Milan Fashion Week goes digital, Dolce & Gabbana are one of the labels that could be showing its next collection purely online. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana
As Milan Fashion Week goes digital, Dolce & Gabbana are one of the labels that could be showing its next collection purely online. Courtesy Dolce & Gabbana

Following the news that London Fashion Week will be switching to an entirely digital, gender neutral format for its upcoming dates in June, Milan Fashion Week has announced that it too will shift to online only for its next round of shows.

As part of the ongoing response to Covid-19 that has seen the cancellation of an ever-growing list of live audience shows, Camera della Moda, the governing body for Italy fashion weeks, has announced that it is creating a new timetable for digital only shows.

Giorgio Armani's Autumn Winter 2020 womens collection was shown behind closed doors in Milan, because of Covid-19. Courtesy Armani
Giorgio Armani's Autumn Winter 2020 womens collection was shown behind closed doors in Milan, because of Covid-19. Courtesy Armani

Slated for 14 – 17 July, the move represents a first for Milan, which normally holds its men’s shows in June and previews its women’s collections in September. However, with the June round of menswear collections in Milan and Florence already cancelled, the creation of this new slot is aimed at allowing both men and womenswear collections to show under one umbrella.

Speaking to Vogue, Carlo Capasa, the president of Camera della Moda, explained, “The idea of this digital Fashion Week is to have something a bit different from a normal Fashion Week. It’s something we thought of specially for the digital world.”

Bottega Veneta's next fashion show could be digital only as Milan Fashion Week goes online. Courtesy Bottega Veneta
Bottega Veneta's next fashion show could be digital only as Milan Fashion Week goes online. Courtesy Bottega Veneta

Now gender neutral, the new dates will allow houses to show Resort 2021 alongside Men’s Spring/summer 2021 for the first time.

As shown by the recent all-digital Shanghai Fashion Week, what a designer misses by not showing in front of an audience, they can make up for by being able to share the collection any way they wish.

“It’s something very mixed,” Capasa continued. “Everybody can decide their own message. The advantage is that in a digital world, you are completely free. You find your way of expression. We said to everybody, ‘You have from one minute to 15 minutes, and you decide what you want to show'.”

Versace may switch to a digital only format for its next round of fashion shows, as Milan Fashion Week goes digital. Courtesy Versace
Versace may switch to a digital only format for its next round of fashion shows, as Milan Fashion Week goes digital. Courtesy Versace

Exactly how the collections will be presented will remain a mystery, as no longer confined to a set format each designer is free to create whatever visual experience they wish.

Interviews, live commentary, or even short films could all feature as designers explore the endless possibilities that digital presents.

Ermenegildo Zegna, known for its exquisite men’s tailoring, has already announced that it will opt for a combination of digital and runway for its show, while other houses are remaining tight lipped about what we can expect.

With two of the four major fashion weeks now committed to using digital platforms, this marks a seismic shift in fashion thinking, pressuring both New York and Paris to follow suit.

Updated: May 8, 2020 11:57 AM

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