by Ally Hudson

For a while, New York Fashion Week (NYFW) was not fully in-person but rather digital shows. Because of COVID-19, the shows were smaller and had less coverage. For some time, brands were doing digital shows, which allowed a new way of showing off clothing pieces. 

Moschino’s Summer 2021 collection

In 2022, Mochino collaborated with Hudson Bay to create a full collection of clothes featured on marionette dolls. They created a set almost like one would for barbie dolls. They had dolls made to look like Anna Wintour, Hamish Bowles, and Jeremy Scott (the designer) to resemble the attendance of a regular show. This innovation allowed them to display their new pieces in a safe atmosphere.  The designer said the show was a “wink-and-nod to the fact that in order to begin anew, you have to start small.” 

Khaite’s Spring 2021 augmented reality book

Again designers were trying to find a different approach to shows rather than just a normal video for viewers to watch. Fashion shows are consumed by a majority of people who aren’t physically at the show. It took COVID for brands to finally realize this and take time into every aspect they put out. The brand Khaite chose to send presentation boxes with a book that one could scan to view pieces apart of the collection. On their app, individuals could scroll through different shoes, accessories, and clothes while getting a full 3-D display. This was a technique that no other brand had done before. Their goal was also to make online shopping more of an experience for their customers.

Gucci’s twin show fall 2022

Once shows transitioned back to mostly in-person, the recent event of COVID left designers and the world in a new perspective to pursue anything and everything because you never know when something can be taken away. Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s designer, has been captivated by twins for a while. He adores the aspect of their “secret intimacies – the grace of their duplicated and expanded love,” which gave rise to his “eternal fascination for the double, for things that seem to reflect themselves.” He wanted it to be an “ode” to twins regarding the notion that twins aren’t truly identical, but they do share something which is so unique yet so individual. During the show, the pieces were presented on opposite sides of a backdrop then they met up and walked together down the runway. It’s a fresh and new idea that articulates the unbreakable bond within human relations. 

Balenciaga’s fall 2022 tundra show

Lastly, something that recent fashion shows have been portraying is messages regarding larger issues. Balenciaga’s show portrayed a tundra focused on addressing climate change and the war in Ukraine. For this show, Demna Gvasalia drew from his own experiences of fleeing war during a tundra atmosphere. The show was in a cavernous hub that filled up to represent a snow globe like our world. Plus, the models carried trash bags as an accessory to symbolize innocent people fleeing Ukraine with their life in bags. There were flashes of lights to represent bombs too. 

Overall, since COVID, many shows have been different in what they represent and how they’re staged. No one wanted the pandemic to happen, but bad wasn’t the only thing that came from it. The pandemic forced people to explore new resources that they otherwise would’ve shied away from. Subsequently, what was born was new ways to showcase clothes that so many people could express themselves.