Virtual fashion month has, of course, impacted editors, influencers, and buyers who travel from all over the world to attend year after year. Likewise, the designers, who work tirelessly to put the collections together, aren't able to step out for a post-show bow to celebrate their work. But, although they might not physically be attending the highly anticipated event with their team, designers are still dressing up for a virtual fashion month. In fact, they've been putting on stylish ensembles at home and when they go into the office while working to bring their collections to life.
If you've ever been to a runway show or tuned in afterward online, you know traditionally, designers walk the runway at the end and receive a (much-deserved) round of applause. Of course, this aspect of the show isn't happening now that everything is digital. "I’m actually happy to stay behind the scenes," Svitlana Bevza, founder and creative director of Bevza, tells TZR. "It’s always difficult to show myself after I’ve already said everything through my collections. I mean, the film director never shows himself on the screen at the end of the movie." The Ukraine-based designer does miss the adrenaline backstage rush and the shining eyes of the models after they've walked the runway. But, like many other aspects of the industry — including when clothes are available to shop and what buyers are looking for — the last year has been a chance to re-think the old habits. Though Bevza and other designers won't be there in person to witness all the hustle and bustle, the shows will still (digitally) go on.
Celebrating their accomplishments from a socially distanced space isn't stopping these designers from dressing up this fashion month. Ahead, see what they have been sporting while preparing for the shows, and what they'll be wearing on the big day.
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Designers' At Home Look: Arthur Arbesser, Arthur Arbesser
Lately, founder and creative director Arthur Arbesser has been very cozy at home, which he plans on sticking to during his show this month. "I discovered those old Missoni menswear flannel sleeping shirts and bought them immediately," he tells TZR. "They go down to the knee and are a dream! So at home, I tend to wear those, with jeans or any pants or sometimes also just that long shirt."
Luckily, he says his office is right down the road from his home in Milan, so he is still able to go in Monday through Friday. "During those initial very tough lockdown months I escaped there, [to] just be on my own and go through books or work on colors and graphics by myself," he says. "Just that simple change of scenery felt like a great fortune and was very important to keep me sane." Arbesser says he's always been more of an observer of fashion rather than a flamboyant dresser himself, so his look for the studio is simple. "Levis, knitted sweaters, and a pair of old Reebook pumps which I found again at home," he says about his ideal ensemble.
The one piece he wears daily? "At the moment the second I step out, I wear my boyfriend's skiing hat from the early '90s — it's an old knitted hat with multiple striped colors and I love it. I also live in fear of losing it, he'd never forgive me!"
Designers' At Home Look: Svitlana Bevza, Bevza
"There’s a cozy knitted Bevza Fall/Winter 2020 white dress I wear at home often," Bevza tells TZR about what she's thinking about wearing during her virtual show this NYFW. "This one is made of yarns of recycled plastic bottles. It’s an all-in-one choice for me: white is my favorite color, the dress is comfortable, and it’s Bevza."
During the new collection process, the designer takes samples from the office to wear and to test on herself. "I need to feel the comfort before I make a final decision on the item," she explains. "I can’t show you photos of it now, [so] stay tuned for Bevza's Fall/Winter 2021 virtual show."
Designers' At Home Looks: Claudia Li, Claudia Li
During her Fall/Winter 2021 presentation, Claudia Li, creative director of Claudia Li, is contemplating wearing the Puffy Prom Dress from the brand's latest collection, or the Oversized Sparkly Jersey Tee and Shorts Set. Currently, Li is working from her family home in New Zealand, and she's constantly throwing on her namesake brand's Oversized Tee and Shorts Set. "The jersey is super soft, easy-care, and looks great on camera because I Zoom a lot nowadays," she tells TZR. Every day, the designer wears a pink beaded chain for her glasses by FRUTA, and revealed to TZR her brand is coming out with a surprise collaboration for Fall/Winter 2021 (stay tuned!).
Designers' At Home Look: Mara Hoffman, Mara Hoffman
This season, Mara Hoffman decided not to do a Fall/Winter 2021 presentation. In fact, according to an interview with Coveteur, the brand is straying away from the traditional fashion month calendar. Due to excess inventory, they decided not to produce its Fall/Winter 2020 collection. And, because the designer isn't showing again this season, she says it's regular work days for her, and she's been commuting into the Manhattan office one to two times a week from upstate New York. "Some form of comfortable pant or bottoms, like men's PJ pants or I, hate to say it, sweatpants, with a vintage men's button-down layered over one of our Caro Sweaters," she tells TZR of what she typically wearing into the office (or slippers on set, like she has on above). No matter her ensemble of the day, she always completes the look with one of her Custom Collaborative x Mara Hoffman Masks.
Designers' At Home Look: Alexandra O'Neill, Markarian
Alexandra O'Neill, founder and creative director of New York-based label Markarian, has been quite busy over the past few months designing and preparing the First Lady’s Inauguration look. In preparation for this iconic moment, O'Neill was going into the studio often. "Now, I’m putting the final touches on the Fall/Winter 2021 Collection, and I’ll be back to quarantining with my family," she tells TZR.
Though her brand is known for its overly dressy vibe, O'Neill's at-home looks are quite the opposite. While she's working in her space, the New Yorker likes to keep it casual and usually opts for jeans and a basic tee, or one of her brand's knits in the winter. But, when she wants to spice up her ensemble, she'll slip on a cute pair of kitten heels. Plus, the designer bought 10 Nike sweatshirts at the beginning of March 2020 and has been wearing them ever since.
Designers' At Home Looks: Edvin Thompson, Theophilio
"I plan on wearing my Theophilio hoodie, cyclops pants, and hat during my virtual Fall/Winter 2021 show," Theophilio's designer and creative director Edvin Thompson tells TZR. The New York-based designer's work studio is at home, so he typically will wear something comfy, such as a hoodie and sweatpants.
Designers' At Home Look: Batsheva Hay, Batsheva
"I have been wearing my smock dresses all the time and will probably be wearing this one for fashion week," Batsheva Hay, founder and designer of New York-based label Batsheva, tells TZR. "It is a red embroidered smock dress that is super comfortable and easy. I wear it with comfy socks." Since the label mostly produces its pieces in New York, Hay has been heading into the office about five days a week leading up to the month. "I wear one of my dresses with thick tights and Nikes," she says about her ideal office outfit.
Designers' At Home Look: Charlotte de Geyter, Bernadette
Charlotte de Geyter, co-founder and designer of Bernadette, has been wearing robes every day as an alternative to slouchy sweats. "It’s comfortable but I still feel feminine," she tells TZR. "When I wear sweats the whole day I can feel frumpy at the end of the day. With a glamorous silk robe, this is definitely not the case. And a huge tip: put on shoes, it helps so much!" Since her studio is around the corner from her home in Belgium, she's heading in a few times a week. When she goes into the office, the designer likes to take the opportunity to dress up. "I always say I’m a minimalist, which is strange because I love to design printed pieces. However, I like to go for one concept in a strong shape with not too much fuss around it."
Designers' At Home Looks: Adebayo Oke-Lawal, Orange Culture
Adebayo Oke-Lawal, designer of Orange Culture, is going to be wearing something from the brand's Spring/Summer 2021 collection, entitled 'Faces In The Clouds,' during its virtual show this season at NYFW. "The 'Faces' cotton denim print pants and our backless vest, comfortable and easy," he explains to TZR of his current favorites. Additionally, he's been loving the brand's lounge-y print sets while working from home. But when he does go into the office, the designer enjoys dressing up, and will usually put on Orange Culture shackets and denim.
Designers' At Home Looks: Hillary Taymour, Collina Strada
What Hillary Taymour, founder and designer of Collina Strada, is wearing for her virtual show isn't much different from what she puts on daily. "Well, it's double pant season in New York right now, so I layer up leggings and our Chason pants usually with some socks," she tells TZR about her go-to outfit. "Typically I wear a layered undershirt with a button-up and a tight shirt on top." Unsurprisingly, Taymour's style aligns with her brand's quirky-cool aesthetic. Each piece has an interesting characteristic, whether it be a funky tie-dye pattern or an exciting puff-sleeve.
Designers' At Home Looks: Erin Beatty, Rentrayage
For her (first ever!) show this season, Erin Beatty, founder and designer of Rentrayage, isn't quite sure what she'll wear. "I generally try to wear something from the collection and will absolutely prioritize comfort," she tells TZR. "We've been playing a lot with more casual pieces lately, so likely one of those!" Last spring the designer found herself wearing jeans most days, however, recently she's been leaning towards sweatshirts, sweaters, and vintage sweatpants. "It's turning into a bit of a situation."
Designer: Anna-Christin Haas, Galvan
During Galvan's Fall/Winter 2021 show, its co-founder and design director Anna-Christin Haas, is planning on wearing the brand's Julianne suit in winter white paired with her favorite pair of trainers. When she's heading into the office, the designer tends to put on the label's black jersey trousers with an oversized black cashmere sweater. "It's what I feel the most comfortable in and also can move around effortlessly in as I'm working with fabrics inside the archive or on the pattern cutting table," Haas tells TZR.
Designers' At Home Look: Alejandra Alonso Rojas
During fashion month, designer Alejandra Alonso Rojas is planning on wearing a set from her newest All Day Wear collection. "It will be part of an upcoming lifestyle expansion with beautiful layering items perfect for lounging or going out," she tells TZR. Rojas is going into her studio every day and enjoys dressing up and wearing heels some days. Currently, her go-to pieces are her brand's new HADA bag and low heel booties by her friend Chloe Gosselin.
Designers' At Home Look: Carlotta Oddi, Alanui
Carlotta Oddi, founder and creative director of Alanui, doesn't quite have a go-to WFH home outfit, but rather an approach in which she mixes and matches different items with diverse backgrounds, weights, textures, and patterns. "I prefer not to limit my options and tend to keep it broad and more spontaneous," she tells TZR. "I typically let my mood and inspiration for the day decide for me, but I can definitely say that I am a fan of dressing in layers." This season, the brand decided to do an event, and instead released its Fall/Winter 2021 collection virtually.
Designers' At Home Look: Christian Cowen, Christian Cowen
Designer Christian Cowen says there's a difference between what he plans on wearing for his Fall/Winter 2021 show and what he'll actually end up putting on. "I imagine a chic cool look, most likely I’ll be in my standard lockdown look, which consists of a chunky knit sweater and Tom Ford silk boxers," he tells TZR. While he's working from home, he sticks to this same outfit formula. "I really live in Tom Ford silk boxers, I never take my chains off, but that’s about it! So, definitely no photos!" The one item he consistently throws on is practical footwear: usually Prada's tough ankle boots.