If you weren’t extremely online over the past year, it was possible to think that fashion week had all but disappeared in the wake of the pandemic. Instead, it migrated online for a series of digital shows—some genius, some merely okay. Now, fashion week is back in full…ish force, with a mix of live (“physical”) shows and streaming (digital…remote…cinematic?) presentations. Still, it’s not quite the globetrotting series of events that defined the month of June in pre-pandemic times. Here, we demystify the events to come.
Fashion week? Again?
You bet! After the pandemic upended the usual schedule last summer, men’s week is sliding roughly back to its traditional calendar, with the Spring 2022 shows beginning in mid-June and running through early July.
What’s the order of events?
First up is London Fashion Week, which begins Saturday, June 12th, and runs through Monday, June 14th. This includes men’s and womenswear, and you can see the schedule here.
Next is Pitti Uomo, the Florence-based trade show, which will be held from Tuesday, June 15th to Thursday the 17th.
Then comes Milan Fashion Week, from Friday, June 18th to Tuesday, June 22nd. See the calendar here.
Lastly, we have Paris Fashion Week. Things kick off Tuesday, June 22nd and wrap up on Sunday the 27th. The calendar is live on the official FHCM site.
And does the uptick in vaccinations in the United States and Europe mean this is happening IRL?
Sort of. Pitti Uomo, the Italian trade show famous for its wildly-dressed “peacock” attendees, has continually stated its intention to return to an in-person run of events—fashion, after all, represents a huge share of Italy’s economy, and buying through digital platforms, as advanced as they’ve become in the past year, has been difficult. (One imagines that’s especially true for the kinds of goods—umbrellas, pocket squares, driving loafers—shown at Pitti.) A handful of Americans, specifically those who work in the tailoring business, have confirmed their in-person attendance.
Meanwhile, in London, Milan, and Paris, there will be a mix of digital and physical events, with designers striking a balance between a desire to drum up national fashion pride and respect the travel restrictions still in place for various countries. In Milan, for example, Giorgio Armani, who was one of the first to pivot to a digital presentation amid the global outbreak of coronavirus in March 2020, was early to announce his return to a physical show, to take place on Monday, June 21st. “During these months I realized that fashion cannot survive long in an exclusively virtual form,” he told Vogue last month. “I believe there will be a return to physical shows, turned into digital experiences for the global audience.” He suggested that shows moving forward would become more intimate, and perhaps more carefully curated or considered—a trend that will likely continue as the vaccination efforts, which have moved more slowly in Europe than the US, continue. Dolce & Gabbana (Saturday, June 19th) and Etro (Sunday, June 20th) are also showing in person.
In Paris, it’s yet unclear who has committed to an in-person show. For what it’s worth, longtime Paris fixture Yohji Yamamoto has been vocal about his distaste for digital presentations.
All that being said, your trusted GQ squad will remain in the United States for the time being, so we’ll be taking things in just as many of you will be—digitally.
So who should I pay attention to?
Good question! In London, all eyes—or mine, at least—will be on Ahluwalia, a recipient of the 2020 LVMH Prize known for her tech-y upcycling, as well as the great Nicholas Daley, for his karate-inflected tweeds.