Less is mwah: has Covid-19 stripped down fashion for good?


Less is mwah: has Covid-19 stripped down fashion for good?

The end of air kissing, digitalisation of cancelled shows. This is what happened when the cornonavirus hit the runway

Lisa Armstrong

This Milan Fashion Week may go down as the first in which a virus wiped pretty much every other story off fashion’s own front page.

At the start of fashion month, almost three weeks ago in New York, the recently named Covid-19 seemed a distant, albeit potentially sinister problem happening somewhere else. True, mighty Chinese retailers and those perfect, doll-like influencers, with the personal video crews and millions of Douyin (China’s TikTok) followers, were missing, thanks to the Chinese government’s curfew which kept them grounded at home. One or two American designers complained they’d been unable to complete their collections in time because of manufacturing hold-ups in Wuhan, but no major names were involved.

Then again, most major names have given up showing in New York anyway. Not even Ralph Lauren bothered this season, while Tom Ford, chairperson of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, which oversees New York Fashion Week, chose to stage his show in Los Angeles just before the Oscars...

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