PARIS – The new face of Paris Fashion Week is digital.
With shows taking place behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, designers such as Julien Fournie are becoming versatile: getting their designs out to the public by making a film of their collection and streaming it online.
“At the start, I was asked to know how to draw. ... Now, I realize I also need to learn to become a filmmaker,” the designer said at a behind-the-scenes preview of his spring-summer 2021 couture movie filming.
Calling the move “brave,” he noted that “a great crew with you (is needed) to even imagine reinventing oneself through digital film.”
In his video entitled “First Storm,” three young women are plunged into dreamlike environments. They are, of course, dressed in the strong architectural sleeves, sharp busts and elongated silhouette of the season, contrasting with the fluidity of Fournie’s chiffon dresses.
Fournie said the impact of the virus has led him to question “whether fashion shows were really necessary” in the first place.
Fournie's eponymous fashion house is just one among dozens in Paris — and fashion capitals around the world — opting to show their designs in this way. It is usually much cheaper for the house than staging a show.
Other houses have adapted to the pandemic by streaming live or pre-recorded runway shows at a specific time online.
The fashion industry, along with the retail industry in general, has been hard-hit by travel restrictions and store closings due to the pandemic.