Louis Vuitton Women's Spring/Summer 2021 Spin-Off show.

Despite an unforeseen downpour, fashion strutted cautiously back down the catwalk on Tuesday night (March 23).

At the evening session of the Louis Vuitton Women’s Spring/Summer 2021 Spin-Off show, staged at the ArtScience Museum, 112 guests got a first-hand look at the luxury house’s newest collection – an industry first in the new normal.

Lit up like the emerald city of Oz, the basement of the ArtScience Museum was transformed into a futuristic fashion show venue, with blocks as seats safely distanced apart and the bulk of the action taking place in the outdoor area called the Oculus.

It was a star-studded affair, with fashion insiders and celebrities including Zoe Tay, Rebecca Lim and Joanne Peh in attendance.

Guests’ arrival and seating was staggered, although safe distancing measures meant it took a longer time for all to be seated in their designated zones.

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A total of 67 looks by Louis Vuitton’s womenswear artistic director Nicolas Ghesquiere, including a summery capsule of brights and pastels inspired by the beach, were featured.

Dubbed a “phygital” show, the event was live-streamed to an online audience.

The show was not without its glitches, delayed by 20 minutes because of sudden rain let in by the Oculus’ skywell. Staff mopped up furiously and guests in the front row were even handed black umbrellas.

Singaporean model Kaigin Yong, 26, one of 41 unmasked models who walked the event, also slipped and fell when opening the show.

But she recovered instantly and went on to model three more looks before closing the night.

The good-natured model, who walked for filmed shows at Paris Fashion Week last month, joked that this first stumble in her career was “one thing off her bucket list”.

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“It was amazing to walk for LV. This is a momentous event in the fashion industry worldwide – it’s a sign of positivity amid the pandemic,” says Ms Yong. “This show feels like the old days.”

The show marked a cautious but optimistic start to the return of physical, large-scale events, which fashion insiders were hopeful about.

Actress Zoe Tay praised it for being well-managed and safe. “Even with this weather, the show still goes on. It’s pretty refreshing and there’s energy in the air – it brings hope and it helps our economy, to move back to normal in a cautious way.”

Fashion director Johnny Khoo, who has styled many celebrity shoots, called it a “courageous” effort on the fashion house’s part. “It’s very encouraging; we need things like that to keep fashion going. Even in fashion capitals, many shows are being cancelled – so bravo.”

This article was originally published in The Straits Times.

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