3 Fashion Houses Shake Up The Fashion Calendar

Today the fashion industry has been rocked by three huge announcements from three separate fashion houses that cannot be ignored. This morning we rose to news that British heritage stalwart, Burberry, has made radical changes to their fashion schedule; Burberry will combine its men’s and women’s shows together in two annual runway events, with ‘seasonless’ collections that will be immediately available to buy online. Next, label du jour, Vetements, delivered the news that they too will be combining their men’s and women’s collections and reducing their shows. Oh, and in an unmistakable V-sign to the current fast-fashion cycle, Vetements will show in January, two months before Paris Fashion Week, giving the clothes more time in stores before sale season. Finally, this afternoon - news that Tom Ford has cancelled his New York Fashion Week show, and will be pushing his Autumn/Winter 2016 presentations to September where he too will amalgamate his women's and menswear collections. All clear, marked moves away from the traditional industry calendar and a firm step in the direction of the retail markets. Ford explained the bold move to Vogue: "In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers, is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense," said Ford,"We have been living with a fashion calendar and system that is from another era. Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available." All three houses have already experimented with bending the rules; you could buy Burberry’s last collection on your mobile straight after the show, Ford presented Spring/Summer 2016 as a music video starring Lady Gaga, and French punk brand Vetements has been setting new standards of innovation with gender-bending designs. Vetements' designer, and now Creative Director at Balenciaga, Demna Gvasalia, has graced the cover of Business of Fashion’s latest issue which is titled 'The New World Order'. In it, Demna discusses his “plans to roll out a dramatically different operating model designed to streamline the outdated fashion system”. Demna’s brother, Guram, CEO of Vetements, told Vogue, "Showing men's and women's at the same time connects us to real life. Today, men wear womenswear and women dress in men's clothes. Gender is not a given fact anymore; a person has the right to choose one. Times change. Splitting genders in two is against the natural flow of today's reality." He went on, "Designers are human beings who need to have some spare time to get rest and gather strength. Instead, designers are put under enormous pressure and insane schedules. The industrial machine sucks out their creativity, chews them up, and spits them out. Once a genius, the designer is left behind incapable of being creative. Reducing to two main collections will give designers enough time to revitalise." In an age where immediacy has a higher worth than quality, fashion designers have been hit hard. Whilst debate around the ethics of the modern lightning-fast fashion calendar has raged for several years, it seems designers are finally calling time on its unrelenting demands. Now to see who follows suit next.

More from Fashion

R29 Original Series