Saying that the start of fashion month is upon the fashion industry seems a little strange when we’ve already had a long month of menswear shows, pre-fall appointments, haute couture week and Copenhagen Fashion Week, but the next four weeks will see fashion editors, buyers and influencers travelling from New York to London, onto Milan and ending the month in Paris viewing the autumn/winter 2020 womenswear collections.
New York Fashion Week
The first stop for fashion month is New York Fashion Week, which will kick off with a sombre mood, as it has a number of notable absences from the schedule and an unfortunate clash with the Oscars, which takes place on February 9, meaning there will be a lack of high profile celebrities in town.
Missing from the schedule will be Tommy Hilfiger, who is showing in London, Tom Ford, the current chair of the CFDA, has opted to show in LA as he tries to capture the Hollywood A-listers, Jeremy Scott has decided to jump ship to Paris, St John are going to do their relaunch via social media instead, and Chilean designer Maria Cornejo has also cancelled her show. The biggest blow might be that it seems that Ralph Lauren, a stalwart of American fashion, is not on the official schedule.
There is some good news, Rag and Bone will be holding its first autumn/winter catwalk show since 2016 with a presentation that is billed to intersect the digital world and reality by combining design innovation with AI-powered visuals, while the schedule has also retained plenty of big names including Proenza Schouler, The Row, Carolina Herrera, Brandon Maxwell, Tibi, Jason Wu, Oscar de la Renta, Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors and Marc Jacobs.
In addition, there are a few celebrity fashion labels showing including tennis star Serena Williams’ S by Serena and reality star-turned designer Olivia Palermo will be presenting her ready-to-wear collection, while labels including Kate Spade and Marchesa will be showcasing their collections by appointment, and Phillip Lim is switching up his fashion week strategy, forgoing his traditional catwalk show for a “house party” that will also be open to the public.
New York Fashion Week takes place from February 6-13.
London Fashion Week
From New York to London, where the British Fashion Council has declared the autumn/winter 2020 season will be about positive fashion and inclusivity, as it continues its movement of positive change with the return of the Positive Fashion Exhibition, alongside public catwalk shows from Temperley London and De La Vali, and a talk series at the official fashion week hub, The Store X.
There are more than 60 catwalk shows and presentation on the official schedule including Tommy Hilfiger who is returning to London to show his fourth TommyxLewis collection, which will have a strong focus on sustainability, sitting alongside Burberry, Christopher Kane, Erdem, JW Anderson, Roksanda, Simone Rocha, Mulberry, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood.
As you would expect with London, there will be a strong focus on emerging talent with Fashion East set to stage its first-ever co-ed show, combining womenswear and menswear, featuring newcomers Goom Heo and Nensi Dojaka, alongside returning designers Ancuta Sarca, Gareth Wrighton and Saul Nash, while former Fashion Scout merit award winner Wen Pan will be returning with a presentation, and Yuhan Wang, is set to open London Fashion Week with her first solo show, having graduated out of the Fashion East talent incubator.
There are also two awards taking place, the first is the 2020 International Woolmark Prize, which will present the inaugural Karl Lagerfeld Award for Innovation. The 2020 finalist are: A-Cold-Wall, Richard Malone and Feng Chen Wang from the UK; Bode, Matthew Adams Dolan from the US; Blindness from Korea; GmbH from Germany; Botter from The Netherlands; Ludovic de Saint Sernin from France; and Namacheko from Sweden.
Closing out London Fashion Week will be the presentation for the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design that will be presented by a senior member of the Royal Family to a British Designer that has yet to be announced. Created in the name of Her Majesty The Queen, the award recognises the role fashion plays in diplomacy, culture and communications, as well as creativity in design and those brands demonstrating value to the community and strong sustainable practices. Previous recipients have been Bethany Williams in 2019 and Richard Quinn in 2018.
London Fashion Week takes place from February 14-18.
Milan Fashion Week
There aren’t any real surprises on the Milan Fashion Week schedule the event will once again be dominated by internationally recognised fashion houses, Gucci, Prada, Fendi, Moschino, Armani, Bottega Veneta, Missoni and Versace.
Emilio Pucci will present something a little different, the first of its guest designer concepts, Christelle Kocher of Koché will be showcasing her interpretation of the fashion house for onetime only, as part of the brand’s decision not to commit to a single creative director. The concept is similar to Moncler and its Moncler Genius line that this season will include Jonathan Anderson putting his spin on technical outerwear, as well as a collaboration with luggage brand Rimowa, who will be introducing a “bold new travel concept”.
Milan will also see catwalk shows from Jil Sander, N°21, Max Mara, Tod’s, Marni, Iceberg, Msgm, Philipp Plein, Ports 1961, Boss, and Fila, with presentations from Jimmy Choo, Furla, Bally, Church’s and Roberto Cavalli.
Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana will also present the 10th edition of the Fashion Hub Market, featuring prêt-à-porter and accessory collections from 5 emerging brands - Apnoea, Delirious Eyewear, Gentile Cantone, Giuseppe Buccinà, and Salvatore Vignola, alongside 5 young brands from Africa, who have yet to be announced.
Milan Fashion Week takes place from February 18-24.
Paris Fashion Week
Finishing off fashion month is probably the grandest of all the fashion weeks, Paris Fashion Week, which will once again feature Dior, Louis Vuitton, Alexander McQueen, Stella McCartney, Chloé, Saint Laurent, Givenchy, and Chanel.
There will be some newness, Felipe Oliveira Baptista will be stepping out for the first time as creative director of Kenzo. The contemporary label decided to skip men’s fashion week in January in favour of the women’s fashion week to showcase his debut collection that will be for both men and women.
While at Celine, Hedi Slimane will present a co-ed show for autumn/winter 2020, after deciding to sit out Paris men’s fashion week, and there might be increased attention on Miu Miu, as rumours continue to circulate that Raf Simons is joining the Prada group to head up the label.
Other brands to watch will including Off-White, Koché, Valentino, Comme des Garçons, Thom Browne, Giambattista Valli, Lacoste, Balmain and Maison Margiela.
London Fashion Week will also have a presence during Paris Fashion Week, with its London Show Rooms initiative that provides a pop-up showroom for emerging British designers to promote themselves outside London, designers that took part last season included Alice Archer, Ashley Willams, Matty Bovan, Nabil Nadal, Phoebe English and Richard Malone.
There will also be a Scandinavian takeover with the ‘Meet the Nordics’ initiative seen during Copenhagen Fashion Week set to travel to Paris to showcase Ganni, Filippa K, Mfpen and Designers Remix to keep the sustainability conversation going. The event will take place on February 25.
Paris Fashion Week takes place from February 24 - March 3.
Image: Carmen González for FashionUnited