Three standout shows from a pandemic fashion week

Even Anna Wintour was in attendance at the Moschino S/S21 show in puppet form. (Photo via YouTube)

By Evan Hecht

For The Diamondback

Even amid the uncertainty of a pandemic, one tradition persists: fashion week, also known as one of the most important weeks of the year for any fashion lover. The idea of in-person runways is clearly a little tone-deaf at the moment, but famous fashion houses across the world have yet to let COVID-19 stop them, finding ways to adhere to current restrictions while still putting on a show. 

When people refer to fashion week, they’re talking about the fashion shows that take place around September and February in the four fashion capitals of the world: New York, London, Milan and Paris (in that order). 

In September the shows are called ‘SS,’ meaning spring/summer, and they’re marketed for the next year. Right now, designers are showing their SS21, or spring/summer 2021 collections. In February, they’ll show a FW21 collection, meaning fall/winter 2021.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into some fashion. Here are some of the standouts from this mid-pandemic fashion week.

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1. Christian Siriano 

The Project Runway alum did not let COVID-19 get in his way. Siriano took a very personal, unexpected — and quite honestly questionable — approach. He hosted the show in his backyard in Connecticut, offering a personal look into his home and reinventing the runway. He told Teen Vogue he was heavily inspired by everything around him while quarantining at home. 

He followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, socially distancing all of his guests and requiring masks. Each model also wore a mask as they strutted their stuff across his backyard. 

Siriano’s show ended with model Coco Rocha walking right into his pool in a giant red ballgown. And though it was a very fun collection, it was maybe not the smartest, due to the ever-present risks of the coronavirus.

2. Prada 

Prada took one of the more conventional approaches among fashion houses. Fans were excited to see the first collection created by new co-creative directors Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons. The show streamed on all of Prada’s social media and garnered mass attention from the public. According to WWD, this was the company’s most viewed digital event, reporting that the video got 16 times the views as its spring 2020 show, and 4 times the views of last July’s ‘Prada Multiple Views SS21’ event.

What Prada did was make fashion accessible to all. Shows from houses as large as Prada are normally really only seen by the higher-ups of fashion, so this gave it the chance to follow safety guidelines while leveling the playing field.

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3. Moschino 

When it comes to Moschino, we should expect the unexpected. Creative director Jeremy Scott plays by no rules besides his own. As a fan of the house, I always look forward to what Scott will think of for his yearly showings. 

The SS21 collection was titled  “No Strings Attached” and included a bunch of puppets. Yes, you read that correctly — puppets in haute couture. Scott told Vogue he was inspired by Théâtre de la Mode, a post World War II touring art exhibit of mannequins dressed by Paris’ top designers created to raise money to revive Paris’ fashion industry.

Scott called on Jim Henson’s Creature Shop to help him create the puppets for his show. Before they were scaled down to puppet size, every look was first made life-sized. He also commissioned a series of puppets modeled after famous figures in fashion, such as Anna Wintour, to watch his models walk down the catwalk. 

While Moschino’s collection was fairly simple for their standards, it was still able to incorporate the element of camp they’re known for with the puppets. 

Although the future of the arts feels uncertain right now, these designers are proving that fashion stops for no one.

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