Stepping Outside the Box: Unconventional Shows of SS/21 Fashion Week



It would be easy for fashion enthusiasts to feel disappointed and as if we’ve missed out this fashion week; no front row seats, events and shows were cancelled and some big-name brands dropped out of showing a collection. Covid-19 has definitely disrupted the traditions of the fashion industry but because of this, our eyes have been gloriously opened to fresh concepts, talent and sentiment when it comes to fashion week shows.



We’re going to be reviewing some of the most unorthodox and innovative shows from New York, London, Paris and Milan that took place this year in lieu of the long-established, classic catwalks we are so used to. Enjoy!



The APOCALYPSE show for London Fashion Week acts as a terrifyingly relatable reflection of the society we’re currently surrounded by; the grey smoke, breathing masks and people running for their lives. I watched this film in a quiet room with headphones on and the hairs on my arms instantly stood up. The eerie buzz in the music and quickening, repetitive beats made the perfect soundtrack for a suspenseful, apocalyptic scene. The film features Eva Iszoro’s designs, she made them using a new 3D construction software that she learnt over lockdown. The film is an incredibly realistic animation by Helmut Breineder, the models look humanely-robotic if that’s even possible.  


MARNI - “Marnifesto”

Marnifesto is so sentimental due to the realisation of togetherness Francesco Risso felt during lockdown. The designer sent the finished collection (made at home by the Marni team during lockdown) to friends and family all around the globe including Los Angeles, Dakar and Shanghai. The beloved non-models went about their daily lives, recording the simple and perhaps unremarkable events happening over this pandemic; walking down the street, sitting with their cat, filming a view or simply having a chat. These videos were collated as a 77minute digital livestream, which is certainly not your typical glamorous fashion week event. Instead it holds meaning of our current climate and in the words of Risso “it was an illustration of how we’re less fragile together.”


LOEWE - “SS21 Show-on-the-Wall”

It is said that when you have less, you tend to be more creative. With this stay-at-home, socially distanced construct we are living in, it is a blessing if your creative ability continues to flourish. For Jonathon Anderson at Paris fashion Week this was the case. After the ‘Show-in-a-Box’ concept from last season, Anderson has taken it a step further and produced ‘Show-on-the-Wall’. This time inside a cardboard box received by lucky individuals, there lay Loewe Wallpaper and paste alongside the appropriate brush and scissors, branded of course. The receivers of this show are encouraged to paste the life size SS21 collection of wallpaper themselves! What an inventive, playful and genius idea.


KIDSUPER – “Everything’s Fake Until It’s Real”

Colm Dillane founder, designer and visionary of KidSuper was part of every step in the making of this stop-motion masterpiece. The KidSuper Studio were able to have their dream models this Paris Fashion Week, hand painting barbies with faces of their personal, legendary heroes such as Jackie Chan, Quentin Tarantino and Steven Hawking. The entire collection was made in miniature doll-sized form for the digital airing of the show “Everything’s Fake Until It’s Real.” This is one of the first shows of its kind, the imagination is epic and it’s safe to say we have the madness of the uncertain conditions we’re living in to thank for these artistic takes on the conventional catwalk.


IMITATION OF CHRIST - "Americans Not Allowed In Paris" 

Imitation of Christ held their very own skateboarding catwalk for New York Fashion Week this year. The models were made up of young, female skaters from LA, cruising around a skate park in the up-cycled garments of IOC. The girls look fierce, the fashion is just an adornment to their skill and power. The clothes hold them as they fly, tumble and get back up – the film is an inspiration to watch. In alignment with the brands values, proceeds of profit made from the sales of this collection will go to Greta Thunberg’s Friday’s for Future campaign. An event like this is so much more personal to the brand, it makes the fashion speak louder as the unique concept amplifies the message behind the collection.


With all the negativity looming around cancelled events and missing collections etc, we must be inspired about all the radical opportunities the industry will be exposed to. Change is good and we can learn a lot from it. This is an exciting time for creativity, especially with sustainable and slow fashion, SS/21 fashion week could be one of many more to break the rules and denote important messages for the world.


   +  Words: Cerys Matthews, Luxiders Magazine Editor