The 15 Most Important Fashion Shows of 2020

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What mattered and what changed the course of fashion in the industry’s weirdest year ever.

To make the understatement of the century: this year in fashion was like no other. But philosophizing about what 2020 means for “the future of fashion” is less interesting than simply looking at fashion’s weird, beautiful, chaotic present. The first two months of the year brought the normal stampede of global fashion shows, and then the world stopped—and designers with it, in some cases. The ongoing pandemic and protests of the summer gave birth to digital fashion week, a strange and dystopian experiment that nonetheless brought some joy, lots of pretension, and some pretty fantastic clothes.

It’s perhaps an impossible task to say which fashion shows were the best or most important. But because trouble is fun, I decided to rank them—admittedly this is a moronically subjective exercise, and very likely I’ve missed many people’s favorites. But in a year when the fashion industry convulsed into a funhouse mirror image of itself, looking back on these two seasons of fashion shows tells us a lot about what happened this year, what mattered, and what things might look like in a year—or, at the very least, what we might be wearing.

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