After the British Fashion Council adopted an online format announcing that Men’s Fashion Week would be adapted as a coed digital fashion week in June, and Paris Couture Week went digitally online in early July, a contentious debate arose with many international designers calling fashion shows 'outmoded', overly consumerist and wasteful. While preeminent fashion journalists, such as Bridget Foley, of the industry bible Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), deemed digital shows as ‘lacking the buzz and razzamatazz of live shows’, the ongoing presence of the Covid-19 virus and an uncertain future, showcasing fashion shows digitally is the only viable option right now.
Frieha Altaf, who spearheaded ‘Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 1’ as a tribute to front-line first responders is adamant that the Pakistani Fashion Industry should be adaptive and find creative alternative solutions to sustain itself.“There is nothing that compares to the electricity and buzz of live fashion shows and fashion weeks, but digital is the new reality of showcasing fashion,” Altaf says. “With the ongoing presence of the Covid 19 virus we cannot go back to the premise of live fashion shows just yet, but we can find creative alternatives.” She adds.
After the huge success of season 1, which received wide-range coverage on numerous digital platforms, ‘Catwalk Cares Virtual Fashion Show Season 2’ is slated to take place in August 2020 on this Eid-ul-Azha. The upcoming showcase will be about creating ‘Fashion Sustainability’ for the Pakistani Textile and Fashion Industries – from design houses and textile firms to daily wage artisans and, retail stores; in a future mired in uncertainty. Further objectives of include raising funds for scholarships at Pakistan’s leading fashion institutes and schools and to keep the fashion industry united and thriving with the creation of online content to encourage the business of fashion and creating fresh opportunities within the industry.
Apart from the design showcases themselves, additional online content during the Visual Fashion Show Season 2 include webinar sessions with fashion designers discussing upcoming fashion trends as well as interviews with consumers, franchise, retail brand owners, E-commerce specialists and fashion design students discussing the topic of ‘Fashion Sustainability’ within their sphere of experience and expertise. To end note, there will also be a Designer Diary session which will include behind-the-scenes intimate interviews with designer work teams who work hard to help keep fashion alive.
With the roster of design participants still growing and slated to reach 15 fashion design houses and local and international brands, the initial confirmed design houses, and brand includes; AIFD’s graduated class of 2020 in Fashion Designing; Nilofer Shahid, Zainab Chottani, YBQ, Sadaf Malaterre; Shamsa Hashwani; Umar Sayeed & Rozina Munib to name a few. “It’s about unity for me. The Fashion Industry employees thousands, we need to sustain jobs. We need to provide scholarships to needy fashion students to showcase design and excellence. A United Fashion Front is about inclusivity, where the industry is united. I feel that change is inevitable, and history is being made,” concludes Frieha.