Save the Dates and Fasten Your Seat Belts: Fashion is Back!
5 "real", physical events open the 2021 fashion season.
Through 5, at least partially, physical events, fashion is reconnecting with its party spirit and reestablishing the social ties interrupted by the pandemic. From New York Fashion Week organized by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (September 8-12), to the Fashion Trust Arabia Prize (November 3), to the Met Gala (September 13), to London Fashion Week, organized by the British Fashion Council (September 21), or Milan Fashion Week, by the Camera Della Moda (September 21 to 27)… Save the dates and fasten your seat belts, fashion is back!
Over the past decade, the fashion industry seemed to be overheating. The big houses competed in terms of originality and daring, transforming their parades into spectacular events that brought together journalists and guests from all over the world. While the impact of these shows was phenomenal, so was their carbon footprint. The pandemic put a stop to this frenzy. The 2020 fashion shows, when they took place, were held digitally or modestly and were tagged as “phygital”. Sublime videos were shown, but for an audience accustomed to traveling to glitter- and adrenaline-filled shows, the frustration was matched only by the disappointment of not having to fight for a seat in the first row, the traditional sport of fashion seasons. If there’s a positive side to the pandemic, it is its’ imposition of a refocusing around specific values. The planet’s ecology, battered by the third most polluting industry in the world, is now a serious concern. The tragic events that marked the beginning of the surge in the #BlackLivesMatter movement demanded profound reflection on inclusion. Now, with the help of vaccines and tests, parades and physical events can resume at the start of the new season, even if in small numbers. The big difference compared to pre-Covid-19 is that they are more aware and overwhelmingly community-oriented.
CFDA, 91 shows in New York
It’s official, the CFDA schedule for New York Fashion Week is on. From September 8 to 12, it will host parades from 91 of the best American and international fashion talents. Under the chairmanship of Tom Ford, the CFDA was keen to concentrate the official shows over five days. The American Collections Calendar is an attempt to support designers debuting collections outside traditional market week dates, and includes the Christian Siriano and Harlem’s Fashion Row runway shows on Tuesday, September 7.
At the MET GALA: “American Independence”
We are staying in New York in the second week of September, where the most glamorous and prestigious fashion event of the year will take place, as if the apotheosis of New York Fashion Week. Ordinarily held in May, the Met Gala kicks off in September, simply because the May 2020 event was postponed. Who says gala, says generosity. The Met Gala was established in 1948 by famous fashion journalist Eleanor Lambert, to raise funds for the newly founded Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of New York. Each year, the Gala, organized in the great hall of the prestigious museum, presents a stage filled with the most extravagant outfits of the moment, chosen according to a theme decided by the organizers.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue and president of the event since 1995 (except 1996 and 1998), oversees the guest list, assisted by Vogue staff members. This list includes personalities from the worlds of art, fashion, high society, cinema, and music.
The theme chosen for this edition is “American Independence”. Expect a shower of stars and many stripes! The Met Gala will be followed by the opening, on September 18, of the exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion” at the Anna Wintour Costume Center. A second part will be added to this same exhibition on May 5, 2022, that will take place in the wing of the museum dedicated to American history under the title: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”. The double show will remain open until September 5, 2022.
BFC: Championing diversity in the UK
From September 17 to 21, it will be BFC’s turn to launch London Fashion Week as a physical-digital hybrid, marking a long-awaited cultural reopening of London. The British Fashion Council aims to strengthen British fashion’s position in the global economy as a leader in responsible, creative businesses. It does this through championing diversity, building and inviting the industry to actively participate in a network to accelerate a thriving circular fashion economy.
The Fashion Awards 2021 will take place on Monday, November 29, at the iconic Royal Albert Hall, London. Following a momentous year of change and evolution, the Awards will expand their global reach with a new creative approach and future-facing ambition while celebrating those who had an essential impact on the fashion industry in 2021
Camera Della Moda, 42 live fashion shows in Milan
Founded in 1958 and based in Milan, La Camera Della Moda represents more than 200 companies operating in various sectors: clothing, accessories, leather goods, footwear, distribution and more. Its purpose is to promote and coordinate the Italian fashion industry and train young Italian designers. One of the key activities of Camera Della Moda is the organization of the famous Milan Fashion Week. This season, Milan Fashion Week will take place from 21 to September 27, 2021, with the highly anticipated Spring / Summer 2022 Women’s Collections, which will mark the return of events and crowds, with 42 live fashion shows dominating the calendar of 61 scheduled events. The program is still being updated until the release of the definitive calendar from September 7 along with the locations of the most influential shows.
FTA, the first initiative of its kind in the Arab world
Last but not least, among the leading fashion events scheduled this fall season is the Fashion Trust Arabia (FTA) Prize, taking place at the National Museum of Qatar on November 3. FTA is the first initiative of its kind in the Arab world, motivated by the success of the BFC Fashion Trust in the UK, which had a tremendous impact in supporting some of the world’s most talented designers.
With an initial mission to provide financial support, guidance, and mentorship to emerging designers in the MENA region, FTA has become so much more: a platform of opportunity through which every talented Arab designer can grow and receive international recognition. Fashion Trust Arabia successfully launched the first edition of the FTA Prize in 2019 under the patronage and presence of FTA’s honorary chair HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, and co-chairs HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani and Tania Fares. The judges for 2021 are to be announced in November.
Here are the finalists, by category, for 2021. For debut talents: Abdelgader El Tayeb, Malik Thomas, Mina Tahir, and Roudha Al Mazroei. For jewelry: Alia Bin Omair, Azza Skhiri Bouchamaoui, Julien Riad Sahyoun, Tania and Dima Nawbar. For accessories: Zakaria Bendriouich, Haya Al Abdulkareem, Dania Shinkar and Bilal Fellah. For ready to wear: Cynthia Merhej, Lama Jouni, Maram Aboul Enein and Zaid Affas. For evening wear: Eli Mizrahi, Harith Hashim, Laith Maalouf and Mohamed Benchellal.
This year’s guest country is Colombia, represented by Agustín Nicolás Rivero, Alejandro González and Andrés Restrepo, Juanita García and Laura Laurens.