From Venice to Tokyo, Fashion’s Summer Vacation Is Over

Summer’s nearly over, and vacation out-of-office messages are being switched off in offices and design studios from Paris to Milan. After a few weeks where investors and dealmakers hogged the spotlight, it’ll be red carpets and runways from here on out. This week alone will see major events on three continents:

The Venice Film Festival opens Aug. 31. The schedule is packed with filmmakers hoping to launch their Oscar campaigns, and red carpet fashion is a tried and true way to build some early hype. The modern standard was set by Lady Gaga’s dramatic arrival by speedboat in a Jonathan Simkhai bustier in 2018 to promote “A Star Is Born,” then walking the carpet in Valentino couture (the film won only one of the eight Oscars it was nominated for, but the dress was a watershed moment for the Italian luxury brand). This year if any movie is likely to produce a major moment it’s Luca Guadagnino’s “Bones and All,” starring fashion icons Timothee Chalamet and Chloe Sevigny.

Rakuten Fashion Week goes phygital again. The Japanese fashion industry’s main event begins on Aug. 29 and runs through Sept. 3 in Tokyo. For the second season in a row, the schedule includes a roughly 50-50 mix of physical (27) and digital (22) shows, reflecting the country’s more cautious approach to managing Covid (Japan still restricts foreign tourists’ movements, though business travel rules are more lax, and most domestic pandemic restrictions have been lifted). Tokyo’s fashion week has never attracted a consistent global crowd, with top Japanese designers often showing in Paris instead (in the just-released Paris Fashion Week schedule, the full Japanese contingent is back for the first time since the pandemic, including Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Issey Miyake, the brand’s first show since the designer’s passing earlier this month).

Serena Williams’ grand finale. The US Open tennis tournament kicks off on Aug. 29. The ties between tennis and fashion go back nearly a century, but have deepened in recent years as stars have grown more daring with what they wear on the court, and more entrepreneurial off it. Serena Williams, a pioneer in both respects, tellingly chose Vogue to announce her retirement rather than the sports press. If she reaches the finals, she could play Naomi Osaka, the 2020 champion and a collaborator with Levi’s, Louis Vuitton and other brands. On the men’s side, Roger Federer, a fashion mogul thanks to his stake in On and a blockbuster Uniqlo deal, is sitting out the tournament as he recovers from a knee injury. Like Williams, he’s also nearing retirement and has cemented his status in the fashion world whether or not he picks up a racket again.

What to Watch This Week


MTV’s Video Music Awards air at 8 p.m. ET


US Open tennis tournament begins

Rakuten Fashion Week opens in Tokyo. It runs through Sept. 3.


The Venice Film Festival kicks off, running through Sept. 10.

Michelle Bachelet’s term ends as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; she has said she wants to release a long-delayed report on China’s treatment of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities by this date.

Euro Area inflation data for August released


Kate Moss’ wellness brand, COSMOSS, launches.

Lululemon reports quarterly results


Frieze Seoul, the organisation’s first art fair in Asia, begins alongside the Kiaf Seoul contemporary art exhibition.

US unemployment data for August released

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