How Technology Stole the Show at Fashion Week

As fashion week participants create shows that are increasingly geared towards consumers, all sorts of technology is being used to make sure the designers and their creations reach as broad an audience as possible. While in the past the fashion shows were more of an insider affair, now many design houses are trying to reach out to a broader demographic and, of course, trying to boost sales. More and more, clothes are being offered for sale there and then, with some fashion houses offering a full brand range in a see-now, buy-now capacity – everything from the make-up to the accessories to the shoes. Technology now plays a huge role in all our lives and nowhere is this more evident than at the fashion weeks, where technology really stole the show, in some ways at least.

See-Now, Buy-Now

While most of the see-now, buy-now options were offered through each house’s existing e-commerce site and their physical stores, while Temperly London paired up with social app Vero to allow consumers to buy three of their fashion week looks right now.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories

While which of these will win their ‘format war’ remains to be seen, both were used fairly extensively at Fashion weeks. Misha Nonoo used Snapchat to slowly unveil her collection, while J Mendel documented his entire collection with Instagram Stories. Industry experts seem to think that Instagram Stories is the perfect medium for sharing fashion week with the fans.

Chatbots Taking Over

Shopability was a big thing this season and both Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger introduced AI run chatbots as a new user interface. With chatbots taking over our fashion shopping experiences, we better hope that they do not develop artificial intelligence that becomes smarter than we are!

Virtual, Mixed and Augmented Reality

Even the excitement of the shows themselves was not enough, it seems. Many shows had an element of alternative reality to them. For example, in New York fashion week, Intel worked with several designers to broadcast their shows in virtual reality, powered by Voke’s GearVR app, so viewers could feel as though they were right on the front row. Rebecca Minkoff worked with augmented reality, working with shopping app Zeekit to allow customers to upload a picture of themselves and see what they would look like in their favourite outfit from the show. Meanwhile, real innovation came in the form of mixed reality space, where an audience could wear Microsoft Hololens headsets to see an extra layer over reality. Soon, perhaps people all over the world could be watching a fashion show in their own living room and feel as though they are really right there.

One thing is certain, technological change is swift and fashion is not going to want to be left behind.

What Is The Point Of Fashion Week?

If you are interested in fashion then you may well get sick and tired of people asking this question. The fashion industry often faces a barrage of criticism, some of it more than justified. But to say that fashion week is somehow pointless, frivolous or boring is an insult. It is insulting to the many thousands of people who work in the industry, from the artists and designers who come up with the concepts to the hard workers who turn those conceptual dreams into reality. What is more, it points yet again to the fundamental gender imbalance in our society.

We often hear that fashion is somehow flighty, needless frippery that does not deserve space on the TV schedule or column space in the press. How often do we hear how pointless football is, or other popular sports? Fashion is an art form and fundamentally, is about how we dress, our tribal affinities and freedom of expression. It is not strictly necessary for our survival, but lets face it, very little is. Certainly football is no more fundamental to our existence than fashion. So why is football treated so differently by such a large swathe of society? It has been argued that fashion comes in for so much more derision because it is perceived as a ‘women’s thing’ while football is often perceived as a very masculine arena.

The fashion industry is of course dominated by big names, both male and female. But it is predominantly women who, in the general population, show an interest in fashion. That is not to say that there are no men interested in fashion week of course, but the general perception is that it is women who have an interest in clothes and like to analyse the way they look. Is that why fashion is so often dismissed in the way it is? Conversely, is football somehow viewed as more ‘important’ because it is historically and culturally much more of a male preserve?

Sometimes this sort of gender bias is not even conscious. Subconsciously we are all conditioned by the society in which we grow up and unfortunately, in the west, we are indoctrinated with the idea of ‘frivolous female interests’. Fashion is creative, skilled, employs millions – yes, it is an industry that is responsible for many wrongs – but in fact for this reason alone, it is far from frivolous. Fashion, good and bad, is a very serious business.

So the next time that someone dismisses an interest in fashion – consider what might lie behind their doing so. Hold your own. Defend your interest. After all, if they are not interested, they do not have to watch or read about it.

Monsoon Wardrobe – Do’s And Dont’s

FABRICS

I like to wear light, quick drying fabrics like lycra, mul, cotton and poly nylon. But remember whenever you wear these fabrics you have to deodorize heavily because they are not very sweat friendly.

Stay away from light nits and linens because they tend to shrink when they come in contact with water.

As much as we all love denims, it the best to try and avoid them during the rainy seasons because when they get wet they tend to get heavy and smelly and they are very difficult to dry.

COLOURS

Avoid whites. This is the basic rule. But also stay away from any light pastel colours because stains are more visible on them. So fight the grey weather by playing with bright colours and bold prints.

ACCESSORIES AND FOOTWEAR

Everyone knows that leather is a big no-no for the monsoons. Not only when you are outdoors, but also when you are indoors, don’t expose any leather accessories to the humidity. It will just ruin them. So I would say that it’s best to store away any leather accessories during the monsoon months.

Invest in a nice pair of rain friendly rubber shoes. Choose a neutral colour in a simple design so you can pull them up even in a formal occasion. You may think flip flops are more suitable for the wet weather, but that is actually untrue. Flip flops and any loose slippers will squirt back the dirty water on your feet and clothes. Remember to choose sandals or footwear that is also secure at your heels.

GO THE WESTERN WAY

Hemlines must be cropped this season, so bring out all shorts, playsuits, culottes and dresses. They are super comfortable and easy to style.

Put away all the maxi skirts and long trousers because they can be pretty inconvenient around wet floors. For dresses, stick to A-line silhouettes and slightly looser styles so nothing gets too clingy.

For a strictly formal look, you could wear a pencil skirt with a shirt. And guess what? You can still wear your whites as long as you layer them.

THE TRADITIONAL TWIST

No floor length Anarkali, long kurtas and bulky Patiala salwars. Wear cotton blended short kurtis and style them differently.

Ditch the long dupattas and opt for short scarves that will still keep you warm. Totally avoid tie dye, bandhini and Rajasthani prints, as they run colour when wet.

If you follow these tips I am sure you will dress to impress even during the rains. So have a trendy monsoon!