In addition to leg warmers and ’90s references, one leading trend takeaway from both the Paris men’s shows last month and the recently wrapped up New York Fashion Week is live streaming. Everyone is doing it; or, rather, all the big names (from Rodarte and Alexander Wang to Marc Jacobs). But, according to London’s Telegraph, while the introduction of new technology into fashion week speak is great for the masses that aren’t granted access to shows, it’s not so beneficial for another former fashion outsider: the blogger.
The paper goes so far as to argue that bloggers like Tavi and Bryanboy will soon “be eclipsed by something that’s bigger than both of them – the virtual front-row seat at the instant digital fashion show.” Ooo, scary right? Not exactly. In fact, I couldn’t disagree more. Front row access for the mainstream consumer will surely change a few things (the influence of fashion bloggers not being one of them). Seeing clothes in motion, first and foremost, adds a whole new dimension to the fashion show experience. While most consumers are used to seeing flat, 2-dimensional versions of various looks, getting to see the fringe of a Rodarte knit skirt sway just so, or the clomping of the late Alexander McQueen’s SS10 space shoes is as good an anecdote as any to reinvigorating an interest in shopping that may have been suffocated by the recession.
Also, live streaming inherently makes the runway show more relevant. For years a select few have been able to experience the often theatrical combination of live models, soundtrack and, in some cases, elaborate sets–lengths to which designers fewer and farther between have gone. But, now, if a significantly wider audience can appreciate all of the components one might pull together for an effective, evocative show, there’s all the more reason to refocus on the practice once seemingly destined for extinction.
But, back to the bloggers for a moment, let it be said that the likes of Tavi and Bryanboy are by no means critics. In fact, I’ve nary seen a full show review by either one. They’ll comment and take in shows front row, but their fashion influence is much more inextricably liked to their personalities, their personal style and their general accessibility in a world of frivolity and feverish exclusivity.
Live streaming is, however, a threat to sites like Style.com who garner absurd amounts of traffic thanks to the fact that they are one of the few free sites that publish images of entire shows shortly after they happen. If portholes like ShowStudio and brands themselves are hosting video streams of their live shows it means far less traffic for the sites that have long simply shown stills.