Kering-owned Saint Laurent will reclaim a prime slot at Paris Fashion Week, closing out the first full day of runway shows Sept. 28, according to an updated calendar released by FHCM, the event’s organising body, Tuesday.
It’s a notable return after the label became the first major brand to leave organised fashion weeks following the onset of the pandemic. “Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity,” the brand said in a statement in April 2020.
The pandemic shrouded the planning of in-person events in uncertainty and grounded international guests whose attendance previously amplified the impact of shows on social media and in the press. Brands including Kering stablemates Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga, along with LVMH’s Celine, followed Saint Laurent’s lead in experimenting with showing their collections outside traditional fashion weeks.
Some of the brands said they hoped showing off-calendar would liberate them from a seasonal rhythm that no longer served them — set decades ago in concert with American department store buyers — and allow labels to better earn attention rather than sharing the spotlight with competitors during noisy fashion weeks.
But brands seem to have realised that, as much as some of them might struggle to attract enough eyeballs to justify the expense of their fashion week outings, securing an audience outside that framework can be even harder. As Paris Fashion Week gears up for its mostly in-person season of ready-to-wear shows in more than a year, Kering’s Balenciaga has also made its way back to the schedule after a highly successful haute couture show in July.
Kering’s Milan-based houses Gucci and Bottega Veneta are still showing off-calendar, however, while British brand Alexander McQueen (which used to show in Paris) is set to stage its show in London the night before the opening of October’s Frieze art fair.
Reality was front and centre at Paris Fashion Week, but this season’s winners both addressed and transcended our current state of affairs, reports Angelo Flaccavento, who beamed into Paris from his base in Italy.