From a runway in Paris to your living room, the once allusive industry embraces efforts to evolve a step ahead of the curve.0
For most city women, runway shows and buttery bags in Bergdorf are special treats, but Monday afternoon Oscar de la Renta streamed his resort runway show live on his website. Traditionally, runway shows have been first for buyers and next for fashion news gurus but with the fashion industry quickly evolving, variety in social media brings Bryant Park in our own back yard. The first of the fashion industry’s real-time runway shows, de la Renta’s bold move indicates future transparency of a once exclusive industry.
Of course, it’s not the same. Live streaming sucks out the romance and strips the viewer of a bona fide artistic experience. I viewed Monday’s show sitting in a coffee shop in the East Village. I was distracted by an NYU student spilling his coffee and two police approaching man outside. Without the protective tent walls, the real world stampedes an experience formally glamorous and surreal. So why are many designers considering the new platform?
In a WWD interview, Oscar de la Renta expressed strong feelings about participating in new social media efforts such as the live runway. While the industry as a whole is unsure of the effects of new social media ventures, leaders agree that being the first to experiment and take risks is the hallmark of fashion. After all, garments go from factory to frame faster than ever; and not just the designer lines. More affordable retailers like Zara and Charlotte Rouse rely on designer runway collections. The faster their designers view these collections, the faster they create their own versions. For them, they can view the shows in their design studios and have versions drafted that day.
Which poses the question: will the fashion industry’s increasingly fast pace cause designers to sacrifice quality or require them dig deeper in the the bowels of their artistic capabilities? Only time will tell. For now, we’ll try an enjoy the opportunity to watch de la Renta in our bathrobe, or on the LIRR, or in a taxi, or in Prospect Park. The possibilities are endless.
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