London Fashion Week: A digital challenge

How the fashion event promises to criticize and challenge the industry, all in the comfort of our homes

Saint Laurent’s fall 2020 ready-to-wear runway. Picture taken from Vogue and edited

In two weeks, London is going to have its most prestigious fashion event of the year, the Fashion Week. Due to the lockdown, the shows will be exclusively online.

The event promises a message of change and criticism towards the consumerist approach in fashion. Several people from the industry show their support for the new way of presenting haute couture.

“The system, to me, is broken,” says Patrick Grant, designer at E.Tautz, in one of the videos promoting the event. He is one of the creators that push for a different approach towards fashion. His aim is to create pieces that would be worn for a long time, that show craftsmanship. “The future needs to be very different to the way the fashion industry looks today,” Grant says.

E. Tautz is just one of the brands that promote a disruptive narrative and feature in the London Fashion Week

“The rise of TikTok meant brands needed to adapt to a new form of content, in the form of short catchy videos,” says Ana Maria Oprea, who works for Net-a-Porter, in London. As a studio assistant, she thinks that digitalisation is forcing the industry to become more public. This process will prevail in the fashion industry, “especially in a time where if you’re not online you don’t exist,” adds Ana.

Discussions about change are old in the fashion world. Last year, London Fashion Week promoted the same disruptive directions, challenging the gender narrative and unsustainable production. However, digitalization might change the system.

For Tekla Pécz, a fashion student in Hungary, the digitalization of the show could lead to the transfiguration of the industry. “Just imagine how sustainable it could be,” she says. This would imply less air travelling, an important shift towards a more sustainable way of approaching fashion.

“Nothing has influenced the digitalization as strongly as this pandemic,” says Tekla. The production of video content has increased awareness of what is happening backstage, combating toxic behaviour in the fashion world. Tekla considers that nowadays, every designer needs to master digital tools.

Alexandra Atalita, a representative of the PromoVisionModels agency in Groningen, likes the digital format of the upcoming event. She says: “We cannot do the original fashion week, so this is a good alternative to display the work of designers.”

Nowadays, the British fashion industry is fighting against the drastic measures of Brexit. Last month, the British Fashion Council addressed an open letter to the Government, asking it to review the Brexit procedures.

Here you can read more about the current tensions between the British Fashion Council and the Johnson administration
What Does Fashion Sound Like? By Sinead Gorey, the Spotify playlist provided by the organizers of the London Fashion Week

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