PARIS — Top houses including Dior, Chanel, Fendi, Valentino and Jean Paul Gaultier plan to go ahead with physical shows during Paris Couture Week, against a backdrop of event cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The final calendar published on Monday by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, French fashion’s governing body, shows that 16 brands are scheduled to stage physical events, with Dior and Chanel each holding two separate shows. That compares with eight runway shows last season.

Schiaparelli will return to the runway for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began. The house’s creative director Daniel Roseberry has become the darling of celebrities like Cardi B, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, racking up red carpet appearances and magazine covers while staging digital-only presentations. 

The season also marks the return of Valentino, which has shown its collections in Italy and online for the last three seasons.

The other brands planning runway displays with guests are Azzaro Couture, Alexis Mabille, Stéphane Rolland, Julien Fournié, Alexandre Vauthier, Viktor & Rolf, Elie Saab, Yuima Nakazato, Imane Ayissi and Yanina Couture. In addition, there are seven physical presentations and six digital-only shows.

Gaultier’s show will feature a one-off collection designed by Glenn Martens. The Belgian designer behind Paris-based Y/Project, and also the creative director of Diesel, follows Sacai’s Chitose Abe as the house’s second guest couturier.

A question mark has been hanging over Paris Couture Week, scheduled to run from Jan. 24 to 27, ever since Giorgio Armani announced last week that he was canceling his Privé haute couture spring 2022 show due to the surge in COVID-19 infections in Europe.

French AIDS charity Sidaction subsequently postponed its fundraising gala to July 7, and it is understood that most events have been called off. 

Giambattista Valli has opted for a digital presentation that is scheduled to go live at 7:30 p.m. Paris time on Jan. 17, the eve of Men’s Fashion Week.

Dubbed “Valli Experience,” the online film will feature the designer’s haute couture and pre-fall ready-to-wear collections.

The shows will comply with reinforced safety protocols. In addition to travel restrictions, which are regularly updated, the French government plans to upgrade its existing health pass to a vaccination pass on Jan. 15.

If the bill is adopted by the Senate, only vaccinated people will be able to access show venues. A negative test for COVID-19 will no longer be sufficient. The federation also recommends wearing a medical-grade FFP2 mask at all times.

This story includes reporting contributions from Miles Socha.


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