FashionLondon Tech Fashion and Technology The impact of technology on London Fashion Week by Abi Adeosun The Fashion Week “frenzy” is now a buzzing scene of bloggers, selfies, a nd twitter streams The bi-annual globally renowned event for fashion designers to showcase their collections to buyers and press has for many years put London at the centre of innovation, creativity and fashion excellence. London Fashion Week (LFW) has evolved from being predominantly a trade event and information opportunity for designers to meet buyers into a form of informative entertainment, not only for those designers and buyers, but also for general fashion lovers. The Fashion Week “frenzy” is now a buzzing scene of bloggers, selfies and twitter streams. Long gone are the days when we had to wait for designers collections to reach the store to reveal all. Now fashion shows are streamed across the globe in an instant, giving us access to designer’s collections straight away. In conjunction with this, the instant opinion of fashion press and bloggers on what they see even before the print ink dries can greatly influence how we see and respond to each designer way before we get the chance to purchase any item. Far from resisting this, the British Fashion Council have instead adapted to it by live streaming designer presentations from the official LFW website and by giving accreditation to accreditation to selected fashion bloggers. Gone are the days when guests must always request an invitation and wait to view a fashion show in person. The immediate review of fashion that is not available until next season can sometimes be opposed but Claire Duke Woolley, Fashion Tech Analyst from Beecham Research explains how immediate review can be a good way for designers and brands to reach customers. “Although there has in recent years been a bit of a crack down on accreditation for bloggers at these events, they are important now as a direct and immediate connection to core consumers. This can be seen as part of a bigger growing trend, particularly with big established brands, to engage more directly, openly and transparently with their consumers, and build a stronger relationship based on core brand values, associations and aspirations.” We see the use of technology to connect to core customers as a growing trend among British designers. British brand House of Holland used local fashion technology company, Metail, to create an immersive catwalk experience during the LFW presentation in September 2014. Consumers could watch the catwalk show in real time online and try on the outfits as they were revealed for the first time. Founded in 2008, Metail is a British company which developed the online fitting room technology, enabling consumers to create a bespoke 3D model of themselves. Not only did consumers watch the aw15 fashion show live from FashionLondon 58 wherever they were, but they created their own ‘MeModel’ to try on the clothing from the catwalk in real time and pre-order the collection in the right size. Designers are keen to embrace technology as a key enabler to enhance their brand presence explains Duke-Woolley; “...Fashion Week presentations are after all a powerful and evocative representation of brand image and ethos.” While LFW retains its place as a UK physical and live stage for designers and emerging designers to present collections for the next season, the growing use of mobile technology through the buzzing scene of bloggers, selfies and twitter streams clearly compliments and enhances the event on a global level. Fashion London are interested to watch over the next few events how this powerful technology presence evolves and whether viewing a live fashion show in person will gradually become a thing of the past.