It’s official; the fashion industry has finally caught up with the rest of the world on the technology front, using new technologies and moving image to bring clothes to life beyond the static. New interactive and motion-based methods of display are definitely making the industry more exciting but depending on which side of the creative, commercial fence you sit, it’s hard to decide whether the negatives outweigh the positives.
Various houses and high street brands are experimenting with technology to better communicate collections. Richard Nicoll presented each of Cerruti’s SS11 looks in static form and on an iPad to encourage interaction whilst in Paris, H&M have replaced their generic poster campaigns with floor to ceiling LED screens.
It has to be said, one of the great benefits of technology and fashion coming together is movement. After all, clothes are made for the body so unsurprisingly they look best in motion. SHOWstudio and Nick Knight have been creating beautifully conceptual fashion films for years and we are now seeing this medium trickle into the mainstream. The big boys are slowly joining the fashion film massive! Below is an interesting example of an interactive film (use the keys to control the film) from SHOWstudio. It’s not the most beautiful film but definitely proves that moving image & sound can be so much more impactful than stills.
As engaging as film is, designer are going way beyond producing simple films to communicate a collection. Over 40 designers are streaming shows and backstage content live across the world during the fashion period, and Burberry have gone one step further with their Retail Theatre, a forum where you can not only view the collection as it glides down the runway, but also buy it on the spot and receive your order within 7 weeks. This new immediacy is revolutionary for the industry however it’s undeniable that it dispels the mystic, magic and anticipation of the traditional fashion cycle.
Naturally some designers (most famously Tom Ford) have revolted against live streaming and interactivity. Ford chose to show his SS11 collection to an intimate crowd at a private location, only unveiling it three months later. It’s clear that Ford very much believes in the reveal, he ‘doesn’t understand why everyone needs to see the collection online the day after the show’ however its going to take more than Mr Ford alone to hold off hyperseasonal selling (straight off the catwalk into the shops) with the likes of Net-s-Porter and Burberry racing ahead.