SOAVE – Gucci and Saint Laurent are two of the highest profile luxury fashion houses to announce they will leave the fashion calendar behind, with its relentless four-times-a-year rhythm, shuttling cadres of fashionistas between global capitals where they squeeze shoulder-to-shoulder around runways for 15 breathless minutes.
The coronavirus lockdown, which has hit luxury fashion houses on their bottom lines, has also given pause to rethink the pace of fashion, offering the possibility to return to less hectic, more considered periods of creativity and production — and perhaps consumption.
Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele imagines a twice yearly appointments — one in the fall and one in the spring — to present co-ed collections, getting away from the hyped-up calendar which has come to require pre-season collections before the major women’s and men’s runway shows and a one-off cruise collection, increasingly in exotic locations.
“Two appointments a year are more than enough to give time to form a creative thought, and to give more time to this system,” Michele said in a video conference Monday, expanding on an idea he launched over the weekend in a series of Instagram posts from his own lockdown diaries.
The virus-imposed shutdown — while stopping production and consumption that feed the fashion cycle — also recharged creativity among those who found new time for reflection. "It is a great gift that our planet gave us, a great gift that cannot be discarded,’’ Michele said.
Michele said he hopes that a new calendar and new rhythms would be decided within the fashion system and in cooperation with other designers.
It has been clear for the last few years that the fashion world has been suffering under the current pace: More luxury houses have been combining men’s and women’s shows as genderless and even seasonless dressing becomes a global theme; it hasn't been unheard-of for major brands to skip a season or to venture away from their fashion cities to expand their audience.
Saint Laurent hasn’t articulated its intentions, but said in a statement last month that it would “take control” of the fashion schedule “conscious of the current circumstances and its waves of radical change.”