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20/07/2020 | EDITORIAL

AFTER JULY NON-CATWALKS LET’S PLACE FASHION BACK TO THE CENTER

Posted by: Gisella Borioli

Once the first Digital Fashion Week was over, the feeling was that Covid made a further victim: the fashion system. And all that goes with it. A reflection in cold blood on a half-successful event and on how to bring back the fashion trend.   

With great sorrow, I witnessed the last inexistent Milan Fashion Week of June, moved to July, spent among virtual attempts, calls on the web, mega-screens in the deserted city, digitalized presentations, the “missing” White, the most brilliant fair, with its experiments of Street Market and addressing eco-fashion and Fashion Revolution and its innovative men fashion proposals. An empty Tortona district, which used to be buzzing with fashion shows, events, hot show-rooms, restaurants full of creatives, for the sadness of residents and regulars. And the rest of the city, of course.  

Only two voices out of the choir, two fashion shows by Dolce&Gabbana in the garden of Humanitas hospital and university whose research  they support  and Etro and in the garden of the hotel Four Season, a few guests, well-distanced from each other for a double collection, men and women designed respectively by brothers Kean and Veronica Etro. Two fearless actions, that were not able to avoid the “De Profundis” that seem to hover around the city, in spite of the efforts by the organizers to create other interesting moments.  

Even the fact that our photographic studios Superstudio 13 lived an easy recovery was not enough to comfort me.  The campaigns of our top-top brands and comings and goings of models, personalities and fashion-people forcefully and hardly submissive to sanitary emergency rules temperature-gloves-masks-disinfection-sanitation-social distance-no groups-single portions- disposable and other compulsory precautions that are necessary or perhaps not.  

The Covid seems to have given a final shock to an already envisaged agony and placed another question mark on the next Fashion Week of September, essential for the world of fashion, for the economy, for the Italian image on the planet.  

We are all aware of the fact that digital is by now part of our lives, that has given a three years burst of speed in three months. But this is not the ultimate solution. We have also seen first-hand that nothing can replace the emotion of a live fashion show, the perception of texture felt by the touch, the opportunities created by contacts, the richness of new meetings, the warmth and value of human relations not filtered by a screen but lived side by side, perhaps with a cup of coffee in hand or a work lunch able to grow, a friendship, together with business.   

Now. Let’s place the digital next to the “physical”, let’s come out of this binge that deludes us all that the world can be turned even by sitting on a chair at home.

Give us back the chaos of the fashion shows, the queues to enter, unreachable taxis, full restaurants, blue cars that block the traffic, phones that ring when they shouldn’t, buyers coveting beauty, spindly models that walk around with a book heavier than themselves, overloaded photographers and odd influencers, fairs that fill empty spaces of shops that catwalk collections leave unoccupied, the parties, events, exclusive meetings and those where only the most patient ones can join.

Gives us back fashion week as it has always been but with the addition that we now know how to reach thousands or millions of spectators, in Italy, in China, on Kilimanjaro, inviting them with a click.  

If we don’t react, once computers are switched off the new collections just seen will add up to the endless images of other sites and other socials will crank out a continuous flow, until the memory is blend and maybe to cancel the desire.  

Many factors contributed in making Fashion die out. Let’s react right away, now.

I encourage operators to be daring, not to play defence. The risk is to lose, forever, the game. Give us back the surprise of Fashion Week, before any other country, maybe afar, steals the first place.  

Dolce&Gabbana Fashion Show (Humanitas University Campus). 2020
Etro Fashion Show (Hotel Four Seasons). 2020
Etro Fashion Show (Hotel Four Seasons). 2020
Screen at Piazza Duomo, with live streaming of MILANO digital FASHION WEEK 2020

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