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Paris catwalk shows are soon reopening

No major live fashion shows have been held in the world's fashion capital since September

A model presents a creation by Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren as part of their Spring/Summer 2015 women's ready-to-wear collection during 2014 Paris Fashion Week. (REUTERS)

Parisian catwalks reopen in July as the French government unwinds coronavirus lockdown measures, allowing live fashions show to resume, a fashion industry body has announced.

According to a Reuters report, the annual Haute Couture Week will take place from 5-8 July and fashion houses will be allowed to organise live shows and presentations, according to a statement from the French fashion industry body Federation de la Haute Couture et de la Mode. Depending on how the pandemic progresses, physical shows would be allowed to welcome guests, in line with government guidance on public events, it said.

No major live fashion shows have been held in Paris since September 2020 when some brands including Dior and Chanel had organised a few shows with a live audience, albeit with a limited number of guests, reports Reuters.

The French are now relaxing a curfew and other measures following the end of their third lockdown in April and the planned full reopening of the economy in July.

In the past months, fashion brands have presented their new lines in online-only shows and have experimented with other ways to showcase their designs such as short films and one-on-one presentations.

The federation said its Haute Couture online platform would remain available for digital-only shows and would also retransmit the physical shows.

At the Haute Couture week, a select club of designers display one-of-a-kind, handmade outfits, unlike ready-to-wear fashion weeks, when brands showcase mass-produced clothing.

In normal times, Paris's multiple fashion weeks generate some 1.2 billion euros for the local economy every year, the federation grouping couture houses estimates.

The pandemic has had a deep impact on the fashion industry. It, for instance, accelerated an existing trend of major fashion houses questioning whether the punishing rhythm of endless fashion weeks and midseason shows was good for creativity or the climate.

Saint Laurent was first to take the leap, announcing in April 2020 that it would skip Paris fashion week that year. And it has not returned, with its latest winter collection again delivered as an online short film outside of any normal timetable.

Gucci's Alessandro Michele followed Saint Laurent's lead in May 2020, saying he would reduce his shows from five to two per year.

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