It’s always a treat when fashion embraces technology in innovative ways, as we saw with runway shows by Viktor & Rolf and YSL. This time, RalphLauren.com continues to push the boundaries by using their 888 Madison flagship store as the backdrop for some serious 4D business.
Remember the guys who did a backwards runway show? The same guys who designed an upside down champaign bottle? Well, this fall, Viktor & Rolf gave us another reason to marvel over their creative deviance.
During Paris fashion week, the Dutch designer duo forwent producing a real fashion show and instead created their own virtual runway with one and only Shalom Harlow. A viewer is almost fooled into thinking that this is simply a stomping army of homogenous, yet gorgeous, models who happen to look like the supermodel. Whether you like the collection or not, this “one girl one runway” concept still carries their signature wink.
Pink?!?! Looks like candy?! Wearable?! OMG, if I were still a teen (sigh), I’d be all over these necklace/MP3 players by INNO Design.
Chiming in on the discussion of democratization of fashion shows, Stefano Pilati, creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, chose to show his 2008 Fall/Winter menswear collection as a triptych LCD projection. Featuring Simon Woods, the star of HBO’s Rome, the presentation is captivatingly eery and seamlessly (and unpretentiously) incorporates the clothes as part of its plotless sequence.
Pilati elaborates on use of technology in lieu of the traditional catwalk in his interview with Wallpaper Magazine.
The result is an engaging art film with a creepy looking dude, who still manages to look hot…in a weird kind of way:
I loved reading this article in New York Magazine’s LOOK issue discussing a commentary written by the NYTimes‘ fashion critic Cathryn Horyn who is bothered by the idea that in this day and age of instant information flow runway shows are still being produced for the eyes of select few.
“Why not let the Internet’s instantaneousness be a virtue, a good new business practice? Why can’t editors, retailers, and critics watch the shows on their own time, from the comfort of their Wi-Fi-enabled couches? End the celebrity scrum, the painfully long waits, the jet lag, and the excessive carbon footprint.”
Although NY Mag’s writer Janet Ozzard agrees with Horyn’s approach to democratizing fashion through instant online access, she still would like to hold on to the magic of being part of the excitement.
And who can blame her? Just imagine witnessing Karl Lagerfeld’s Chanel mary-go-round runway show in person as opposed to seeing it online:
Or seeing the giant Chanel jacket set with your own eyes (and feeling totally dwarfed and insignificant):
And if fashion shows were to move to the internet, would designers be motivated to produce grand-scale productions such as this?
Caption for photo below from New York Look: In Person: Alexander McQueen’s fall show, left, was a spine-tingler for the few hundred who saw it live. On Screen: Hussein Chalayan’s elegant spring-summer video, right, is there for anyone sitting in front of a computer. (Photo: Chris Moore/Catwalking/Getty Images)
Here’s another example of wearable technology which interacts with human body and surrounding environment. Just like the Smart Second Skin Dress, these dresses are made from high tech materials enabling sensory interaction and prediction of the wearer’s emotional state. This project is designed as part of Phillips’ initiative, Design Probes, which is dedicated “‘to track[ing] trends and developments that may ultimately evolve into mainstream issues that have a significant impact on business.” Though I find the idea of wearable technology interesting, I have to admit that what I’ve seen so far seems impractical and gimmicky. But then again, wearing this ridiculously impractical speaker vest can either make you the life of the dance floor or the butt of all jokes…
Don’t wear this at your wedding if you’re having doubts–everyone will know.