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London Fashion Week Gives Good TV

  • September 23, 2020

Down to the fact that many of us, grounded by pandemic restrictions, are experiencing it on TV. Or YouTube, anyway. As the Emmys, which took place over the weekend just as London Fashion Week got into full swing, argued, it’s the connective tissue of the moment; our shared unreal reality. In fashion, as in life.

Still, the forced videofication of these particular “shows” has been unfurling with mixed results.

What works on film and what works in the flesh are entirely different forms. But since it’s not that hard to imagine that at some point, if the current situation persists or the splintering of the fashion calendar really takes hold, videos will become part of the fabric of the regular fashion cycle, then coming to terms with what works onscreen is important. And it’s not simply a group of women, or men, strutting down a runway.

There’s nothing wrong with that, from an informational point of view — and oftentimes, as with Molly Goddard’s subversive rainbow fripperies and Victoria Beckham’s slouchy power plays, the collections look very good — but the videos lack texture, any sense of raw emotion and mess. (It’s also very easy, after about three minutes, to look away.)

And given that the anti-sweatpants movement that began in New York reached a new level of intensity, and creativity, in London, attaching the clothes to the visceral, stomach-churning weirdness of now — to characters, as opposed to the robotic strut of the catwalk model — is what makes for really good fashion TV.

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