In recent seasons Saint Laurent has opted to show off-calendar, even outside Paris and France, as it chose to set its own course for unveiling collections. On Tuesday the French fashion house announced it will return to the catwalk calendar in its home town, closing the first day of Paris Fashion Week on 28 September.
The Kering-owned brand, much like Bottega Veneta and Gucci, saw showing outside of fashion week as a means to present ready-to-wear at a time and place best suited to the Maison, instead of the near set-in-stone dates of global fashion weeks. Without the constraints of a rigid calendar and a multitude of competing events, showing on one’s own terms seemed an easy choice to peak the interest of both the media and customers.
Paris Fashion Week, much like its contemporaries in New York, London and Milan, is celebrating a near return to normalcy, of which the majority of shows will be live in-person events in comparison to the fashion weeks held over the past 18 months.
Why Fashion Week is back in fashion
The pandemic shifted both the abilities and sensibilities for audiences to travel, questioning how impactful it would be to host a remote catwalk show outside of fashion week requiring special arrangements for attendance. If the past year has taught the industry anything, it is that fashion can successfully be a road less travelled, especially for journalists and buyers. Fashion Week also guarantees eyeballs, even if the framework of its wider organisation comes with limitations.
Currently many Asian and American buyers and press are unable to travel, reducing fashion week’s attendees by as much as 30 percent. If New York’s Met Gala is by any means a comparison, it was mostly attended by a local and younger mix of celebrities and influencers. European designers and heavyweight celebrities were largely absent. In Paris it will be the other way around.