AFP, published Tuesday, June 22, 2021 at 10:06 am

The parades are returning in droplets to the men’s ready-to-wear week in Paris starting Tuesday, after the Covid crisis which accelerated the digital revolution.

Dior on Friday, Hermès on Saturday and four other houses have opted for “physical” parades out of 72 registered on the official calendar.

At Milan Fashion week which ends this Tuesday, only Armani, Etro and Dolce & Gabbana invited the public to 47 registered brands.

All the presentations of young brands on Tuesday in Paris will be digital. Many tenors still remain in the virtual world such as Louis Vuitton, Dries Van Noten, Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Loewe or Tom Browne.

“The health crisis has accelerated everything. In terms of digitization, it happened in one year what happened in ten years,” said Pascal Morand, executive president of the Federation of Haute Couture and AFP. of fashion, counting on a Fashion week which will “emerge strengthened, rather than weakened”.

But for fashion historian Olivier Saillard, digital “has shown its limits” in fashion. “If we reduce all this exercise, which is magical – a piece of clothing is a soft sculpture around a body – to a photo in a larger or smaller screen, it doesn’t work,” he told AFP.

The slowdown due to the epidemic has also enabled the Federation to move forward on the path of sustainable development. At the beginning of June, she presented a tool that allows houses to measure upstream the environmental and social impact of their event.

The (virtual) event to watch is the return of Courrèges in men’s fashion, with Belgian Nicolas Di Felice (ex-Balenciaga and ex-Louis Vuitton) as new artistic director.

Celine and Berluti are largely absent from this edition, having decided to create at their own pace.

Already before the pandemic, Hedi Slimane, Celine star stylist, considered Fashion week “obsolete”. He presented his last two collections for men and women in February and April, outside of virtual Fashion weeks, in poetic films shot in castles.

Berluti, for his part, presented the latest men’s collection by Belgian artistic director Kris Van Assche in Shanghai, a sign of the importance given to the Asian market.

His departure coincided with announcements from Berluti CEO Antoine Arnault that the house will now have its own schedule.

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