From Venice to Tokyo, the fashion summer vacation is over

Summer is almost over and the messages of out-of-office vacations are winding down in offices and design studios from Paris to Milan. After a few weeks where investors and traders were in the spotlight, it will be red carpets and runways from here on out. This week alone we will see major events on three continents:

The Venice Film Festival opens on August 31. The schedule is packed with filmmakers hoping to launch their Oscar campaigns, and red carpet fashion is a tried-and-true way to create some early buzz. The modern standard was set by Lady Gaga’s dramatic arrival by speedboat in a Jonathan Simkhai bust in 2018 to promote A Star Is Born, then walking the carpet in Valentino fashion (the film won only one of eight Oscars for which it was nominated, but the dress was a defining moment for the Italian luxury brand). This year, if any film 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 is back in full swing. The main event of the Japanese fashion industry begins on August 29 and runs until September 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 the movement of foreign tourists, although business travel rules are weaker and most domestic pandemic restrictions have been lifted). Tokyo Fashion Week has never drawn a consistent global crowd, with top Japanese designers often showing in Paris (in the newly released Paris Fashion Week schedule, the full Japanese contingent is back for the first time since from the pandemic, including Undercover, Junya Watanabe, Noir Kei Ninomiya and Issey Miyake, the brand’s first show since the designer’s death earlier this month).

Serena Williams Grand Final. The US Open tennis tournament begins on August 29. The links between tennis and fashion date back nearly a century, but have deepened in recent years as stars have become bolder with what they wear on the court and more entrepreneurial off it. Serena Williams, a pioneer in both respects, chose clearly Vogue to announce her retirement instead of the sports press. If she reaches the final, she could play Naomi Osaka, the 2020 champion and 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 out of the tournament as he recovers from a knee injury. Like Williams, he is nearing retirement and has cemented his status in the fashion world, whether he picks up a racket again or not.

What to watch this week


MTV’s Video Music Awards airs at 8pm ET


The US Open tennis tournament begins

Rakuten Fashion Week opens in Tokyo. It lasts until September 3.


The Venice Film Festival begins, which lasts until September 10.

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

Eurozone inflation data for the month of August is published


Kate Moss’ wellness brand COSMOSS launches.

Lululemon reports quarterly results


Frieze Seoul, the organization’s first art fair in Asia, kicks off alongside the Kiaf Seoul contemporary art exhibition.

The US unemployment data for the month of August has been published

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