As fashion houses continue to navigate their way through the coronavirus pandemic, the fashion week calendar has been an obstacle requiring some particularly agile steering. This week it was announced that Milan will host its first digital fashion week in an effort to overcome the restrictions on travel and social gatherings. Slated to run July 14th to 17th, Milano Digital Fashion Week will be open to both menswear and womenswear designers to present pre- and main season collections.
According to its organisers, the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, the digital platform will offer an array of content accessible across its digital channels, including photographs, videos, interviews as well as in-depth webinars and live performances. President of the CNMI, Carlo Capasa, has highlighted the creative freedom which comes with going digital, offering designers endless possibilities for showcasing collections in new and innovative ways. His sentiments reflect a welcome optimism throughout the industry in seeing these challenging times as an opportunity for a much-needed revamp to the status quo.
The news comes as part of a global move to adapt runway shows over the coming months by harnessing technology. Milano Digital Fashion Week follows the blueprint established by the British Fashion Council back in April when they unveiled plans for a gender-neutral London Fashion Week as a digital-only event. And just a few hours after the announcement this Wednesday, The Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode also revealed it would launch a digital men’s fashion week from July 9th to 13th, though it remains unclear what is to become of the cancelled couture shows for July or shows scheduled in September.
The upheaval has revived a long-standing debate over whether the current fashion system is actually worth preserving. Saint Laurent’s recent decision to opt out of Paris Fashion Week altogether has compounded criticism of the fashion calendar as being over-saturated and at odds with the rapid pace of modern-day consumption. Whilst the French federation has maintained a conservative stance, this could be just the right moment to question whether it is time for a change.
It will be visible on the CNMI’s digital channels via their website, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Youtube.
By Rebecca Taylor