The BFC announced in July that the event will take place from 17-22 September, despite the ongoing limitations caused by the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing requirements.
The provisional schedule, which was announced on Instagram this week, includes menswear designers as well as womenswear in a gender-neutral showcase.
The change follows the cancellation of the usual mens’ week schedules in June, which were replaced by digital shows.
The schedule reveals there will be three categories of shows: those that will be both digital and physical, digital-only and physical-only.
Which brands will be showing in September?
The following brands are confirmed as planning both online and physical shows.
Bora Aksu, Bethany Williams, Burberry, David Koma, Emilia Wickstead, Emilio de la Morena, Erdem, Eudon Choi, Feng Chen Wang, Halpern, Margaret Howell, Mark Fast, Osman Yousefzada, Paria/Farzaneh, Paul Costelloe, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Pronounce, Richard Malone, Supriya Lele, Temperley London and Victoria Beckham.
Amanda Wakeley, Roksanda, Sharon Wauchob and Simone Rocha will all aim to hold physical catwalk shows.
The physical shows will of course be dependent on whether localised lockdowns arise and will have to adhere to social distancing measures if they do go ahead.
Shows by 16Arlington, Bianca Saunders and Ahluwalia Studio will be streamed digitally. They are likely to be aired via the BFC’s digital LFW platform, which launched in June.
Do we know what any of the shows might look like?
Quintessentially British brand Burberry, which has streamed its physical shows online since 2010, revealed in July that it would be hosting its show outdoors. The announcement included a picture of a coastline with the strap line ‘Burberry In Nature’.
“Set in the British outdoors, the spring/summer 2021 collection will come to life on the 17 September as a live physical presentation that is open for all to experience digitally opening new spaces to our global community as we reconnect with nature and each other”, the brand’s press release read.
What are other fashion week cities planning on doing?
Similar announcements about a combined digital and physical schedule have been made from the organisers of both Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has stated that due to “strict state public health guidance” the city’s shows will have little or no spectators.
Cuomo said in a statement: “The pandemic is far from over, but we’re proud to support event organiser IMG in moving forward with NYFW, in adherence with strict state public health guidance.”
What are the advantages and disadvantages of this new format?
Digital shows face criticism for being less visceral, but they do come with fringe benefits. Watching shows from home means there’s no travel time, which allows more designers to be added to the schedule that may not normally get the airtime.
It could also reduce the pollution which may usually result from fashion editors’ vehicles travelling between offline events.
The BFC is slated to unveil a more detailed schedule for London Fashion Week in early September.