Virtual Fashion Shows: A New Dawn for Digital Innovation

We all remember the glamour that is associated with runway ramps and thin models that adorn some of the best clothes that are produced by talented designers and expert craftsmen. The thrill of presentation, the curiosity of the story that captures a collection, and the excitement of sitting with the who’s who of the fashion industry, seems to be the essence of fashion shows. However, since the dawn of the pandemic has left the fashion industry into shambles, many have been left with finding creative ways to bring the fashion shows back to life.

One of the first brands to ever comment on the fashion schedule during the pandemic, Yves Saint Laurent, took a shocking approach to exit from Paris Fashion Week and ditch the conventional fashion calendar. Gucci followed the suit as Alessandro Michelle announced on Instagram that the fashion industry has been plagued with several issues and the brand is focusing on building their schedule to adjust to the pandemic. This means that fashion weeks, which are supposed to be the platforms where designers and brands present their collections, are now under a serious threat. This threat questions their entire existence.

Models present creations for Chinese designer Han Wen's Fall - Winter 2020 collection, as part of the "China, We are With You" fashion event, kicking off the fashion week in Milan on February 18, 2020. - Milan Fashion Week kicks off on February 18, but coronavirus proves to damper the celebration of fashion and business, with thousands of Chinese designers, buyers and journalists abandoning the trip. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

Models present creations for Chinese designer Han Wen’s Fall – Winter 2020 collection, as part of the “China, We are With You” fashion event, kicking off the fashion week in Milan on February 18, 2020. – Milan Fashion Week kicks off on February 18, but coronavirus proves to damper the celebration of fashion and business, with thousands of Chinese designers, buyers and journalists abandoning the trip. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP)

In the past months, fashion brands have taken a new approach to fashion shows. The first prominent brand to present an answer to this situation was Chanel. After Karl Lagerfeld’s departure, the brand has now relied on Virgine Viard who was the right hand of Karl and has worked for the French label for more than 30 years. She went the conventional way of putting a collection together and sticking to the original fashion calendar.

The Cruise 2021 show was the brand’s first-ever digital take on a fashion show. The seven-minute video featured several looks for the Fall season and while Virgine was quick to point out that the collection was made from materials already available to the craftsmen, the show made headlines in the French fashion industry that many consider being arrogant enough to ignore technology. The collection itself included signature Chanel designs with fabric like tweed getting a fall makeover. The show is shot in an editorial style that makes it perfect for the buyer to examine a piece of clothing while sitting in the comfort of their homes.

The next to follow was London Fashion Week. London Fashion Week had announced that the event would be taken digitally through an innovative approach. The organizers created an online platform where various types of media like photos, videos, and podcasts were presented. These can be accessed by anyone around the world without any charges. This innovative approach to fashion week created a template for many and the coming fashion weeks including Paris Fashion Week is touted to be a mix of digital and physical shows.

One of the most experimental approaches to fashion shows has been taken by JW Anderson. The designer created a series of photographs that showcased the menswear worn by mannequins and the head of the mannequins were replaced by hand-drawn faces to resemble a model that would traditionally walk on the runway. JW Anderson is one of the most well-known designers and considering that such designers are reimagining fashion shows with the help of technology, others like Dries Van Noten and Jacquemus are likely to follow.

One of the only brands that managed to stay relevant and churn out profits during such troubled times is Hermes. The French luxury label has been famous across the world for its craftsmanship. Their signature products include luxury bags and scarves made out of silk, the latter of which became the driver of sales for the brand. These scarves came in handy for people to cover their faces during the pandemic. The brand also released a film that showed the interior of their atelier in a detailed manner. The video shows the immense efforts that the brand puts into their products thus replacing the need to present a collection. Instead, the brand’s reliance on a rich history and expert craftsmanship makes any collection successful.

Dior is one of the most recent brands that showed their Haute Couture show for the Fall season through a film. We see two bellboys carrying a toy mansion through the woods filled with human-like creatures. Mermaids, snails, trolls, and fairies make an appearance and the bellboys open the toy to present a toy version of clothes made at their ateliers. Dior took a different approach to the fashion shows by creating toy models to represent their clothes and this approach will be taken in real life too. The film was a depiction of how the brand used technology to present their collection to the customers.

Not long ago, the Nigerian designer Anifa M took the social media space by storm by unveiling her digital collection that featured virtual models instead of a photo-shoot. The designer modeled 3D models in her design lab before the lockdown and designed the clothes digitally. She then created a short video that showed clothes walking by themselves as if the models were made out of air. This was made possible by the animation technology that the designer effectively used to create a buzz in the fashion industry.

Many think that the digital fashion shows are a better way to minimize the stress on the buyers as well as on the planet as it has been proven that these fashion weeks have enormous carbon footprints that directly affect our environment. Digital fashion shows are the temporary solution over physical fashion shows and while many think that physical shows may come back, the impact made by digital fashion shows is nothing but revolutionary.

source :-https://trustjone.com/virtual-fashion-shows-a-new-dawn-for-digital-innovation/

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