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"What do you think is the future for fashion and digital?" says interviewer who thrusts mic in my face, expecting a portent prophecy from me, the supposed "fashion in digital" oracle.  I never have a satisfactory answer for the poor souls that ask me this wretched question.  In any case, I'd rather not know.  Instead of constantly looking forward, trying to see what seemingly clever technology we can foist on to the fashion space, with sometimes meaningless results, I'd rather concentrate on solidifying what we have, looking at how the internet and technology has enhanced our experience of fashion and at the ways it is becoming a much more integrated experience with our own reality – the physical experience that still counts for so much within fashion.  Therefore, I've picked out a few instances spotted during the past few weeks where "digital" isn't shoved in a stowed away box, cornered off into an intangible space.  Instead, we have technology and physical reality coming together in ways that actually communicate something meaningful to the consumer or the reader. 

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Y-3's S/S 13 Show Space – When they used to have their shows in the Park Armoury in New York, Y-3 used to be known for massive productions that have included anything from lasers to Zinedine Zidane taking a penalty kick.  For their 10 year anniversary show, artist Dev Harlan created a video 3-D projection on a pyramid panelled wall that was the backdrop for the entire catwalk.   In person, it was a mesmerising sight, as the coloured triangles lit up in sync with the music and often with the clothes as the colour palette and print themes played out on the walls in a fluid and streamlined movement.  Hopefully that was communicated to viewers watching the live stream.  This was a technology-driven set design that was really effective from a viewer's perspective and really enhanced Yohji Yamamoto's design vision.

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Google Glass on the DvF Catwalk – I mention this with a bit of a raised eyebrow.  The novelty factor of debuting the Google Glass in a Diane von Furstenberg show (not a brand necessarily known for digital innovation) was high.  Rendered in an array of juicy colours, they often took away the attention from the clothes (although creative director Yvan Mispelaere announcing his departure from DvF the day after the show may have also overshadowed the collection in the end).  When von Furstenberg herself came out wearing the Google Glass, looking like she was slightly confused as to why she had this piece of apparatus on her head, it definitely raised a few eyebrows.  That said, the resulting film is quite well edited as a summation of what the Google Glass is capable of and I do like the idea of von Furstenberg herself taking to this partnership with such enthusiasm.  Who else thinks though, that in essence, you could also strap a mini camera to your head and achieve the same result?  Did this actually showcase the full capabilities of the Glass?  Hmmm‚Ķ 

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Topshop Unique Customise the Catwalk – The results of Topshop's newly shippable, social and customisable experience can be seen in their impressive stats (they even sent round a Google Analytics snapshot to prove it) with over 2 million people from all over the world logging in with a purported 200 million being exposed to Topshop Unique S/S 13 content due to people sharing their experience as part of a partnership with Facebook.  That's pretty humongous.  I was trying to test the experience out whilst watching the Topshop Unique show live at the venue but sadly my wifi was a bit dodgy so I couldn't benefit from the full experience.  I take it from Twitter comments that no glitches cropped up though and that people were heavily using the 'Shoot the Show' feature where people could instantly snap away at the livestream and share their favourite looks via Twitter or Facebook.  The Customise the Catwalk and pre-order feature was maybe a little limited.  Was it just me or did you only ever see four items (dress, jacket, trousers and bag) that were customisable/shoppable?  Let me know if it was just my crap connection letting me down on this front?  I think Esther Adams of Vogue.com had the same problem.  A wider selection of looks would have made this part more fulfilling considering how much love was going around for the show and the collection.  

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ShopBop Apartment – Breathing life into a website and creating a physical event out of e-commerce is nothing new but this season, there seemed to be more and more press events centred around this concept.  I personally took part in selecting pieces from ShopBop to fill my "room" at the ShopBop Apartment event in London, held in the super lush Neo Bankside apartments by the Tate Modern.  My "room" was festooned with print upon print as my selection was telling and people could wander from room to room in an intimate home setting rifling through rails, try on shoes/bags and shop the selection on ShopBop.com.  I would have personally liked more time to make the room more "me" but sadly time wasn't permitting.  Some of my favourite pieces from ShopBop came from unlikely sources such as this DSquared2 ombre cable knit jumper or this Willow gladiator skirt.  Of course staple labels like 3.1 Phillip Lim and Derek Lam really propped up my selection.  

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Shoescribe Blogger's Day in Milan – Who else read the brilliant profile of Yoox Group CEO Federico Marchetti in the New Yorker?  I'm forever an admirer of Marchetti's vision and strategy for e-commerce that historically has bucked the conventions of the traditionally tech-slow fashion industry of Italy.  His ethos has led him to manage e-commerce for many of the super brands, become a high end retailer with TheCorner.com and more recently he has launched shoe site ShoeScribe.com as well as relaunching Yoox.com with a new redesign.  Shoescribe put on their first ever physical event where product from the site was to be showcased alongside a girly day of mani/pedis at Layla salon in Milan.  I've written about the shoe site before, which is doing a decent job of dedicating itself to footwear with an interesting buy that skews contemporary.  The event was pretty textbook standard blogger-friendly stuff with cupcakes, shoes and nail polish fumes intoxicating us with their charm.  Sure it's a frou frou event but from Marchetti's perspective, it's not something that Yoox Group have really ever taken part in.  I'm personally a fan of these physical representation of e-commerce sites when done right.  More cake and polish I say.

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O: by Tank and its New App – Finally we have a publication and integrated video content that has really cheered me up to no end.  Trying to integrate video content and physical publications is nothing new.  Remember all those QR codes flying about in magazines?  I don't believe I've personally come across a mainstream fashion publication (O: By Tank is distributed in The Guardian in the UK) that has done such a fine job of embedding video content throughout the entire magazines in such a seamless way as the latest issue of O: by Tank, which came out during London Fashion Week.  The introductory video says it all really (with personable introduction by Tank's publisher Caroline Issa) as you simply download an app onto your iPad, iPhone or Android (yay for Android support!) and scan your device over the pages where video content is indicated by target points and immediately the video content pops up.  The video content ranges from interviews with designers such as Guillaume Henry, simple 30 second videos of the product coming to life, videos of shows, animated flip books of catwalk imagery or accompanying film shorts for fashion editorials.  Some of the content is not even necessarily produced by Tank themselves such as Miu Miu's Women's Tales films or an ad campaign supplied by the brand.  The point is thing is that the content is sign posted clearly so that you read the magazine and then integrate your experience of flicking through pages with the video extras.  It's even as simple as waving your device over a product and having the website of the brand come up.  Many of the videos that Tank have produced are fully available on their video portal site Because but for me what's great is that the magazine experience is really enhanced by putting video and print content together, hand-in-hand with each other.  Oh, and the redesign of O: by Tank is ace.  All Bauhaus, stark and to the point.  I like.  

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Comments (21)

  1. ediot says:

    wow this is such a smack packed post. with lots of brilliant pieces and looks in it. absolutely love it. thanks for sharing susie
    x

  2. love this post suzie!! did you have a good time at NYfW???

  3. Elisa says:

    I agree that we shouldn’t really talk about digital as a thing in itself, because we end up looking at digital aspects as an end in themselves, often leading to pointless augmented-reality experiences which don’t really bring anything to the customers. You’ve picked great examples of digital experiences which seemingly support the consumer’s experience.
    Elisa – Wandering Minds fashion
    http://ourwanderingminds.com

  4. Serdane says:

    I think that digital fashion will just be about a fashion which gonna be more creative with outfits imagined with the capacity of being created with wifi connexion ( or something ). But I think that the first evolution about digital fashion is gonna be that everybody could create his own conception of it ( everybody could have his blog or something near from that ), fashion shows during fashion weeks will be more accessible with a 3D show, mods popping out from the screen etc etc …
    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  5. Tara says:

    This may sound like a broad, sweeping statement – that’s because, to some extent, it is – but I believe we are currently in the finest era of fashion accesibility and innovation because of platforms such as blogs, the equal emphasis on street style as well as catwalk style and the sheer amount of thought that goes into creating a new way of being unique. That said – I agree with you – we should, instead of probing heavily into the unforeseeable future, remain as grounded as possible in the present so we can continue with the steady level of consistency and progression we currently have in the fashion world.
    Best Wishes,
    Tara

  6. Ana says:

    I still sense a lot resistance against the digital in the fashion world.
    There is a lot of support, of course, but I find the amount of resistance still present puzzling.
    That said, this selection showed me quite a few things I was completely unaware of.

  7. Ana says:

    I agree with you on all points but one: the equal emphasis on street style and catwalk style.
    It’s not that the emphasis is not equal, it’s more about street style losing the ‘street-ness’ and gaining a lot of ‘catwalk-ness’ in just the last few years.

  8. The Provoker says:

    You look so great in those polaroid shots, that closet space is just the right amount it fit ONLY NYFW’s looks into, but we’re not counting the goodies you get on your trip. I’m not too sure if I approve of those DVP glasses, I mean it’s cute and it makes you think but on the otherhand it’s hilariously pointless in a bad way? I dont mind the glasses trim, it’s cute but it just looks like your lenses dropped and you didn’t bother removing the glasses right?
    xx The Provoker
    http://www.the-provoker.com/2012/09/lfw-ss13-part-3.html

  9. Wow! I just love the bubble collection! The girl in a white dress and white hat and stripped socks looks really amazing! I love the boy in the black short suit in the third photo; he looks so stylish and elegant. I wish I was there also!

  10. Noe Farrell says:

    Amazing post Susie! I just love your outfits;all have lots of brilliant pieces and looks in it. absolutely love it. thanks for sharing such an inspiring stylish collection. I’m in love with especially the white dress; the socks, the hat, the pose; really fantastic!

  11. Nice pictures Susie! I really loved everything in your site; very inspiring and interesting contents! The black short suit is really brilliant. I love it. thanks a lot for sharing. The white design is really hot and sexy in the girls above; really adore them. Keep up the great job!

  12. Great blog, really enjoyed looking through the pictures!!

  13. Sanne says:

    I agree with everyone else – amazing post :)
    But the Google glasses…. I’m just thinking what they would have looked like if Google had actually gotten DVF to design them, in stead of just help launch them. I hate the look. I think they look like something an accountant would wear. In the nineties! I like my glasses to make a statement, not to try and look like they are not really there (when obviously they are).
    A very political partnership on both parts, though: DVF is not exactly known for being cutting edge. Google, on the other hand, is not exactly known for their great design.
    As for the utilities of the Google glasses: I think it’s great that someone like me, who would like to do street style pictures but is too shy to ask for permission, now gets the ultimate weapon :) But also: I believe there are going to be other utilities than just the video recording. For instance an overlay of data that gives you information about the shops or places you are walking past. It will be like VR, but in real life!

  14. Everything’s great and I love that runway.

  15. Great job of getting this working. A real art to getting blending printed publication and video for sure.
    Thanks,
    Peter @ Valley Optics
    http://www.valleyoptics.co.uk

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  18. Vanessa says:

    Cute pictures and great blog! Greetings from Munich :)
    Vanessa – PureGlam.tv

  19. Very informative and useful article, i like to read your article very much. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

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