“Apocalypse Now”

Yeezy Season 8
Photo: Valerio Mezzanotti for The New York Times

The total number of hospitalizations in New York is beginning to decline, but we are hardly out of the woods. Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a member of Joe Biden’s coronavirus “Public Health Advisory Committee,” appeared on MSNBC Monday night and declared that “Realistically, COVID-19 will be here for the next 18 months or more”. We would not be able to return to normalcy until there is an effective vaccine.

Even after some of the more extreme shelter-in-place and quarantine restrictions are relaxed, the virus can mutate, change, and come back. By all accounts, we are in this for the long haul.

The idea of clothing as protection is nothing new, but it has taken on a whole new meaning as of late. The fall 2020 collections were conceived long before anyone even heard of COVID-19, but many of the designs are well suited to our new reality.

Moncler 5 Craig Green Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

On February 23rd, Giorgio Armani had to cancel his show in Milan because of concerns over the rapid spread of the coronavirus. But just four days prior, Moncler staged its presentation in a warehouse in that city.

Moncler 5 Craig Green Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Graig Green’s colorful see-through coats and ripstop nylon jackets, shown as flat sheets, eerily resemble the Personal Protective Equipment worn by medical personnel on the front lines.

Moncler 3 Grenoble Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

The Moncler 3 Grenoble Collection is geared for winter sports and ski wear, but several pieces look particularly well suited to keeping safe in a pandemic.

Yeezy Season 8 Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Kanye West’s Yeezy Season 8 collection, shown in Paris, is all about cozy, comfy basics played out in soft, pleasing neutrals. At the time of the show, Kanye admitted that he was obsessed with hazmats, and several of the outfits had face obscuring protective hoods.

Rick Owens Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Rick Owens is known to mix glamour with impending doom in his collections. He loves the dark and foreboding side of fashion. For fall, Rick’s warrior women will find comfort and protection in sweeping sleeping bag capes.

Marine Serre Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Marine Serre loves fabric, and she loves covering the body. 50% of her collections are made from upcycled material. By the time Marine showed her fall collection in Paris, there was full-blown fear over the rapidly spreading coronavirus. In response, she covered the models’ faces and created something strangely beautiful.

Marine Serre Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

Marine’s black duvet skirt and jacket are dramatic and functional.

Stella McCartney Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

The outerwear in Stella McCartney’s Paris show was exceptional. Who needs a mask when you have a military-inspired coat with a face obscuring high collar?

Richard Quinn Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

For fall 2020, Richard Quinn used masks that matched the fantastical outfits.

Richard Quinn Fall 2020 Ready-to-Wear
Photo: vogue.com

They were part of his “fashion dreamhouse” collection, and not created in response to this pandemic. However, one might come in handy if you have a formal gala to attend in the late fall or winter, and you want to keep yourself safe and protected.

Marilyn Kirschner
Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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