The greatest cities in the worldÂ Fashion Weeks usually, herald the season. And surprise.. surprise (!!!) London, Milan, Paris and New York Fashion weeks gracefully bounce on a cyber-catwalk into the digital age.
It is called fashion because it sets the tone, looks and taste for what is fashionable; our social media feeds were sparkling with flashes of the catwalk glamour. Most noticeable how the industry kept in-step with the times the way it presents itself and many live shows in a digital age.
And before the catwalk fans start throwing their high-heels at App-Fab, let us assure all that there will be no cure for real time Catwalk addiction in the foreseeable future, and beyond. The Catwalk is the fulcrum upon-which the entire equilibrium of the great pyramid structure of element elements of an industry unmatchable by any other:Â Beauty, glamour, designers â€˜ ( of wild, romantic Â and classical)Â imagination, sighing, shocked, or admiring Â spectators , and consumers. This year another dimension was added; Â a fascinating digital technology that was interwoven into the showsâ€™ schedules, although the juryâ€™s still out on Â whether it was aiding or hindering the way Â fashion is presented, or perhaps both? After all, fashion is an art and art is seen from different sides and angles.
London Fashion week showed that live streaming is now seen as an almost ubiquitous part of the process. Not so long ago nightclubs and trendy bars were showing nonstop Fashion TV channel on giant screens as part of the attractive design and glamorous atmosphere of the place. Live streaming of Fashion Weeks today enabled millions of people to tune-in world wide. No language, class, culture or economic barriers. It is the Â democratisation of Â the fashion industry , the wole world has the option to watch Â what was seen as a privilege for the few only a few years ago.
A case in point was Trail blazers Â show studio which Â transformed the way shows are discussed and dissected in tandem with live streams – so fashion followers don’t even need to wait the few hours it takes for articles to be filed to get an instant reaction from a panel of fashion experts.
When we talk about Digital presentations we didnâ€™t mean viewers only, but it has also given new designers a gateway into The Fashion Week to present their collections at a fraction of the cost of extravagant theatrical live shows. A huge positive leap for new talents to break into the field – and is again where London comes into its own; London has always been the mother of innovative ideas.
Designers like Carri Munden of Cassette Playa have used digital presentations effectively and powerfully – attracting many VIPs and press to her screenings – which underlines the fact that designers no longer need to present a traditional catwalk.
The above presents controversy and challenge.Â As designers continue to excel spectacular digital innovations (they are designers after all) , comes the hazards and pitfalls alongside Â its potential, one would question. Digital Disturbances – a new exhibition in the Â Fashion Space Gallery present questions about the limitations and desirability of integrating digital phenomena and content into the fabric of the material world. Information can be lost, gained or distorted as it is translated from the material to the digital.
Kunihiko Morinaga’s label Â Anrealage dramatically alters our perception of clothes merely by manipulating the sizes of mannequins employing computer design, and more sinisterly Simone C. Niquille has introduced the invisible model by using digital technology when exploring how identity can be represented on clothes to avoid detection by CCTV cameras.
While designer’s new digital efforts would inevitable challenge how far we can rely on digital technologies to maximise a realistic view, the creative opportunities of a virtual world should not be ignored.
The trick to digitalise is “to think of it as a new creative medium,â€ says Lynne Murray â€œ using digital technologies to display collections is simply another way to present brand vision and it is a compelling new tool we are only just seeing the start of”. Murray adds that this season will see a stronger than ever presence of innovative digital displays.
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