The coronavirus has put the whole world into lockdown. Resultantly, zillions of projects are on hold; work from home has become new in-house and virtual has become new real.
Looking at what all is happening around, the future weirdly seems uncertain yet hopeful. Most importantly, the picture emerging from all around says it out loud — people, businesses, organizations, and everything in between are either compelled to take the digital path or get lost in the heaps of dilemma and apprehension.
Whether you take examples of musical gigs, book fairs, award functions, social gatherings, and fashion shows, the digital dais has become the customary shelter and first line of defense for all.
As far as fashion-based events are concerned, the fashion calendar is also in the doldrums with no certainty. When the global health crisis crippled the world in the early 2020s, the PFW (Paris Fashion Week) had just gotten over. After a couple of months, fashion week organizations worldwide chose to switch to the digital route.
Not just one particular fashion show, almost every haute couture house, and fashion designer started thinking the same way.
Although the Camera Della Moda and Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) did announce the revival of the in-person runway shows, designers are still keeping pace with the newer format to stay put.
Here, we have listed some events that prove that digital fashion is gradually overtaking the world. Keep reading!
The British Fashion Council (BFC) was one of the first organizations to go digital. During their 3-day digital fashion week (June 12 to 14), the event showcased various British brands. The BFC's chief executive, Caroline Rush, said that by devising a fashion week platform, they were accommodating digital shifts to suit their current needs and creating a potential stage for the days to come.
However, some of the key industry players, including Wales Bonner, Burberry, and Richard Quinn, decided to wait till September of the same year to exhibit their spring collections.
Shanghai fashion week is the first fashion gig in the world that went completely virtual. Although canceled initially post the COVID-19 outbreak in China, the organizers showcased the event on Tmall, a popular online marketplace by Alibaba. The organizers said that the fashion show generated as many as $72 million (online sales) and got 11 million views.
This fashion event witnessed 12 designers showcasing their scintillating collections in fashion films format. After the Fashion Design Council of India announced a virtual event, the designers decided to create digital fashion films. These included various themes and narratives. Altogether, the show was pulled off really well.
Among the first few fashion gigs to make the digital switch, Helsinki Fashion Week was one of its kind. You can call it a 3D virtual extravaganza steered by sustainability. The event focused on digital innovation and sustainability. It felt like a Sci-Fi blockbuster with jaw-dropping virtual backdrops and realistic CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) models.
The creative director of Moschino, Jeremy Scott, created a fun moment in the world of fashion. He coupled with Jim Henson's Creature Shop to create puppets to present his spring/summer 2021 designs. He transformed all his 40 pieces into miniature copies, where each piece was handcrafted. So, the entire collection was made into doll-size outfits donned by marionette dolls.
Prada's collection and presentation need no introduction. With the most elegant virtual fashion interface, Prada delivered one of the most magnificent and immersive digital fashion shows. The brand got that personal touch to every element used, and all the models did exceptionally well. Plus, it had an interactive question and answer round at the end of the show.
The extravagant haute couture Parisian Maison, Olivier Rousteing's Balmain Army, also launched his star-studded collection online. Striking the perfect balance between customs and innovation, the brand seamlessly kept all eyes glued to the screen. The best part — during the live stream, the attendees were allowed to shop in real-time.
With the perfect blend of mesmerizing environment, popping colors, and hypnotizing sound, Hillary Taymour with Charlie Engman used the virtual runway in the best possible way. They used 3D animation in the form of a video called Change is Cute. And the entire collection was put forth in an eye-catching way.
Thom Browne, a noted American designer, time-traveled to the year 2132 to showcase his SS21 collection. He created an Olympic Games-based show and named it Lunar Games. The fictional event was hosted by Grace Mahary, a Canadian model. Interesting, isn't it?
This New York-based womenswear brand presented its fashion show in the AR (augmented reality) format. Khaite sent specially-designed books to their guests. And to view the latest collection, the guests had to scan a QR code printed therein. Scanning the QR code allowed them to view the designs as 3D renderings on their handhelds. The renderings were so alive that the guests felt like watching the season in person.
These are some of the events that showed digital avatars of traditional fashion events. However, the essence and charm of live events are never going to fade.
So, if you did not get the chance to grab a seat in the front row, no worries. Go to the websites of the fashion houses to watch the seasons.