What You Need To Know About London Fashion Week's First Virtual Showcase

BY Tanika D'Souza / Jun 15 2020 / 17:00 PM

The first event in June's modified fashion calendar focused on ‘digital’ catwalks and a new way of sharing

What You Need To Know About London Fashion Week's First Virtual Showcase

Following the onset of COVID-19, the last few months have seen significant changes unfold within the fashion industry. From designers foregoing fashion weeks to fashion weeks foregoing catwalks, the status quo has shifted.

Not exempt from the changes, London Fashion Week (LFW) kicked off on Friday with a slightly different presence to that of its previous editions. Once known for its relentless schedule of international travel, extraordinary exorbitance and little to no room for adjustment, this year’s showcase of Cruise 2021 collections was an entirely digital affair.

While the virtual format was an unprecedented move in itself, equally unprecedented was its abandonment of gender-specific collections. For the first time in its 40-year history, London Fashion Week, in combining women’s and menswear, embodied a gender-neutral lens—in the name of sustainability and on account of the pandemic.

Hosted exclusively on the LFW Online Hub, the event spanned three days and featured a plethora of fashion films, panel chats and live performances. Cognizant of the uniqueness of the time within which they were presenting, many designers took the opportunity to explore their craft using differing mediums and formats.

One such designer was Martine Rose, whose presence on the schedule was the weekend’s most high-profile draw. Foregoing the presentation of a standard Cruise collection, Rose released a capsule collection of ‘conscious clothing’ using deadstock fabrics from her own studio.

Following suit with five short videos featuring friends of the brand, cult label Roker addressed their vision of neutrality and sustainability through the use of their distinctive leather footwear.

Designed for both men and women, the brand has gained traction over the years for its collaborations with well-known London labels including Charles Jeffrey Loverboy and Art School.

Also using the flexibility of the event to his advantage, Loverboy by Charles Jeffrey changed the format of its exhibition - which was originally intended to be a virtual showing party - to a ‘talent showcase,’ highlighting Black creatives.

Announcing that a new collection will be available in December, Jeffrey’s change of plan was a response to the Black Lives Matter protests currently underway around the world.

Lead image courtesy of Jason Lloyd-Evans

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