We are back for the August edition of @FashionUnfold ladies & gents.
And with Fashion weeks just around the corner and every social media platforms buzzing, we thought fitting to address Fashion weeks in the digital age.
Do live fashion shows still matter?
In recent years, fashion weeks have gone digital in more ways than one. Thanks to technology, Platform like KCD now produces fashion shows in a purely digital format, website like NOWFASHION streams real time photos from the shows, attendees upload looks as they come down the runways to social media - often without paying them enough attention, and many fashion houses live-stream their shows for the World Wide Web to see.
These added layers in accessing information, almost instantly is a much needed and welcomed alternative for many, knowing just how overly-crowded fashion weeks calendars can get.
“To be honest, not every brand needs to do a live event” – KCD Senior Vice President Rachna Shah.
As a result of all these changes in fashion, do live shows risk to become obsolete? And if so, would it make sense for designers to shift their focus to digital presentations instead?
“There is something special about the live experience and there is often a different quality in the clothes live that you still can’t get online.” – Milk Studios/Milk Made Fashion Director & Curator Jenne Lombardo
On the other end, producing fashion shows can be very costly, so could digital presentations be the answers for emerging designers with limited budgets?
Read what our avid panelists and fashion professionals from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal have to say and join the conversation right after, LIVE on Twitter.
Marcus Kan, editor in chief of arts and fashion blog à la mode. Currently, he is also the contributor to Swide by Dolce & Gabbana online magazine.
Even though we can see images from the latest collection almost instantly after the show, I still strongly believe there is a need to have live show for people to attend. Images can only capture the 70% of the collection and you will always need to be at the show to look at the details and the flow of the pieces.
Also, an image cannot really tell you the quality of the particular garment, but you can inspect it when you are at a show.
In a publicity point of view, usually the show that has the most attention in that season will have more exposure on magazines such as editorials or interviews on the designer. This not only helps to generate buzz for the fashion brand, but it will also help the wholesale of the collection, because department store will want to purchase some pieces from this particular collection.
As for new designers, I recommend them to start showcasing their collections through well curated presentations. Once the brands start to gain momentum, they may want to invest in a runway show so they can reach to more audience.
In conclusion, I believe brands should continue to have live runway shows, but at the same time, invest money on digital technology to create exclusive content (eg, 360 view of each look with flawless detail of the garments) for the online world.
365Hangers provides daily sample sales on women’s designer labels, shown on models of all shapes and sizes from 00-16, and offers lifestyle products UP FOR GRABS with exclusive discounts to their fans and followers in weekly flash sales.
The chance to see the fabrics and construction in person cannot be replaced by an image or a video. You lose the “awe” moment (or “oh-no” for some), you lose the networking, as well as the enhanced experience that a complete runway event can provide. The great part of the digital era is when we need an option. Sites like Style.com offer the best experience when the live experience is not an option.
Not being selfish for a moment, let’s think of the designers. It takes a lot of money, time and experience to produce a great show. For young designers, a digital option may be their best. They can still keep the experience exclusive if they desire, but will end up with a better reach if they drop it. It will always depend on the designer and the collection – no two designers are alike, and their shows will not be either.
The experience of Christopher Bailey’s collection, complete with the faux rain, would be lost via video. There is no way to re-create that experience if it is not live. (Do you get the experience from reading the recap of it? It MUST be first hand.)
Daniel Butler co-creator facesofnyfw.com
“Curated, uncensored, blow-by-blow visual accounts of what’s really going down, Live – the heartbeat of NYFW in one accessible place!”
A live show can be a huge cost but not just in the production of the show. The young/emerging designer needs to be equally prepared or have the infrastructure to follow up with the potential huge resulting demand.
We think the benefit of this new era is that designers can get quality content out to their audiences like never before with many smart phones capable of HD video/images, meaning that not all the live shows need necessarily to be at costly locations: Lincoln Centre etc, but can be done in more informal / humble surroundings, or even play on this to their benefit.
Technology is giving the ability to go beyond the catwalk. Instead of competing think of it as adding extra layers. What we have seen on FacesofNYFW.com is that the ‘whole’ experience actually spans much further than just the performance, the preparations, backstage and after parties also help convey and build the brand image.
People want to see their icons/idols and by being able to tap into these once hidden arenas their idols perhaps become more mortal thus inspiring generations to feel that they too could be the next Betsey Johnson or Jeremy Scott!
Claire A. Thompson – Fashion Illustrator and Entrepreneur
This topic is particularly interesting to me in that I’ve worked in Silicon Valley for the past few years at a tech start up. Because I consider myself more of an artist at heart, I couldn’t help but feel somewhat disconnected when most of my social interactions and experience took place online over multiple digital channels.
While emerging digital technologies have helped expose live fashion shows to a myriad of fans, designers and illustrators from around the world, there is still no replacement for the theatrical performances live fashion shows bring in person. Live shows are certainly not going obsolete.
Just as the art of fashion illustration has undergone a comeback in recent years, I predict resurgence in the value of attending live fashion shows in years to come. With so many social platforms available, and an increasing pressure to spread our digital presence on all of them, these viewers are already becoming fatigued.
However, live viewers can look around and see they are surrounded by others experiencing the same fashion show as they are. They can see their reactions and detect their emotions, and there is no such social platform today that allows a viewer to have that same experience from their own digital devices.
Being there and seeing everything brings an experience that no amount of camera angles or live chats can recreate. I do not think social media platforms will go away, but I do believe users will ultimately prefer to attend than to watch.
Michael Eardley – Fashion Designer.Creative Director at Live.Now. By Michael Eardley
There is now almost nothing we cannot do on the internet, making physical human interactions less present in our lives. A phone call has now turned into an email or a text message; this is nothing new.
Fashion weeks are always hectic and can sometimes be overwhelming to some people with the amount of shows to attend. Offering a digital version of the show not only can help have more reviews from media who cannot be present at the show for various reasons but can also open your brand up to different individuals who in turn can turn into potential customers.
Moving to an entirely to a digital show I believe is not the way to go, there are certain elements that can not be brought to the digital show and felt by the viewer, from the music intensity to the lights and in some cases the details on the runway. A fashion show should be a show, imagine if Broadway closed its doors to the public and only showed digital versions of their shows, it would not be anywhere near the same.
By having live fashion shows, it also gives the house an opportunity to have high profile guests and celebrities at their show which only adds to the excitement around their brand. Fashion houses and fashion weeks should not move entirely to digital versions but rather combine the two to offer the ultimate experience.
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Rachna Shah & Jenne Lombardo Quotes sourced from here
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