As the French government eases coronavirus lockdown measures allowing live fashion shows to resume, the catwalks of Paris are buzzing with preparations and anticipation ahead of a July reopening.
The annual Haute Couture Week will take place from July 5 to July 8 and fashion houses will be allowed to organize live shows and presentations, according to a statement from the French fashion industry body “Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.” Depending on how the pandemic progresses, physical shows would be allowed to welcome guests, in line with government guidance on public events, it said.
No major live fashion shows have been held in Paris since September 2020 when some brands including Dior and Chanel had organized a few shows with a live audience, but with a limited number of guests.
The French are now relaxing a curfew and other measures following the end of their third lockdown in April and the planned full reopening of the economy in July.
In the past months, fashion brands have presented their new lines in online-only shows and have experimented with other ways to showcase their designs such as short films and one-on-one presentations.
The federation said its Haute Couture online platform would remain available for digital-only shows and would also retransmit the physical shows. At the Haute Couture week, a select club of designers display one-of-a-kind, handmade outfits, unlike ready-to-wear fashion weeks, when brands showcase mass-produced clothing.
In normal times, Paris’s multiple fashion weeks generate some 1.2 billion dollars for the local economy every year, the federation grouping couture houses estimates.