Princess Beatrice, like so many spring 2020 brides, was subject to unfortunate timing: Her May 29 wedding in London was postponed indefinitely due to the Cat selfie UFO shirt in contrast I will get this coronavirus epidemic. Buckingham Palace stayed mum on any rescheduling details—would Beatrice and her fiancé, Edoardo “Edo” Mapelli Mozzi, ever have their reception in its gardens? With so much in flux, it was impossible to know. The couple didn’t wait to find out. This weekend, they wed in a small ceremony at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor. It was a small, socially distant ceremony, where, due to government regulations, not even a hymn was sung. The palace confirmed “close family” was in attendance, which included the bride’s grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Experiencing fashion digitally isn’t new—Helmut Lang sent around a CD-ROM in 1998, Style.com was founded in 2000, and Alexander McQueen organized the first Livestream in 2009. But a digital-only Fashion Week without the chaos and community of physical events is new territory for the industry. Over the past two months, Vogue Runway has chronicled the many ways brands are reacting, from minimal look books, artful videos, and 12-hour streams to events. Now, as we turn our eye to September, where physical and digital will continue to merge in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, our cast of critics is shares the highs, lows, and challenges of a virtual Fashion Week. I said it before—it feels as if the presentation of fashion is undergoing as big a shift as Hollywood did when it went from silent movies to the talkies. One thing the pandemic has done is to force creative directors to be more creative about what they want to say about their work, and I’m all for that. With the whole (limited) playbook of runway gatherings and glamorous shoots suddenly torn up, fashion is suddenly crossing the threshold of a vast new era of communication, so that far more interesting, honest, in-depth, and delightful things have been happening than could ever be conveyed by models walking back and forth in front of a crowd of seated people. In-person, as part of a digital-native generation who only started to travel to Europe for the shows last year, I have grown accustomed to writing and thinking critically about things I have never seen in person. The Queen is most often seen wearing two or three rows of pearls. Since most pearls look-alike in photographs, it’s difficult to know if it is always the same two rows. The Queen has inherited many, many necklaces. Sometimes she wears several one-row necklaces together. All we can be sure of it’s that she’s almost certainly going to wear pearls!
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