Paris fashion week opened in unique style on Monday, with students cutting the virtual ribbon for women's ready-to-wear collections at a time of unprecedented chaos in the fashion calendar.
Deserted by several heavyweight designers, and still imprisoned online by the pandemic, organizers turned to students from the French Institute of Fashion for a dose of hope and renewal.
"People have been much more open. They want to keep fashion alive and give as many opportunities as possible to young designers," said one of those presenting in the opening video, Clement Picot.
He drew inspiration from horror films such as The Shining and American Psycho for his contribution, full of oversized comic-book shoulders that he said were a mix of his dreams and nightmares.
For youngsters like Picot, the need to stay virtual is no problem: "I will be able to watch this video all my life. It's maybe even more personal this way."
But this fashion week, the fourth in Paris since the start of the pandemic, looks as disorganized as ever.
Dior and Louis Vuitton, part of the LVMH luxury group, pushed back their video broadcasts at the last minute, with organizers adding an extra day on March 10 to accommodate production delays.
Rival holding Kering (which includes Saint Laurent, Balenciaga) is not presenting at all. Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent's Belgian designer announced his withdrawal from the official calendar during the first lockdown a year ago.
Others are setting their own timetables, reflecting the fact that many designers were tired of the relentless pace of the fashion calendar even before the coronavirus created a new world of logistical headaches.
Hedi Slimane, artistic director of Celine, unveiled his men's collection in early February, bypassing the calendar entirely, with a video showing modern knights in leather jackets parading on the ramparts of the Chateau de Chambord on the Loire.
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