Tech revolutionises London Fashion Week
The cool kids are once again preparing to descend on the capital in their droves ahead of London Fashion Week (September 16-21). As usual you can expect to see newspapers filled with pictures of hot celebrities poring over the latest designer trends in the front row - just as they did a decade ago.
London Fashion Week will run from September 16th
The waspish magazine editors will also be there as they were back in 2001, preparing to champion the fashions they see fit for domination over the coming 12 months; pencils sharpened and eyebrows arched. However they'll be carrying a few tech gadgets in their handbags and man bags that they weren't a decade ago: devices that look small, sleek and discreet but that have managed to totally revolutionise the process which takes fashion from the catwalk to the high street and into your shopping bags.
A decade ago it would have taken a while for readers of glossy magazines to find out what was championed by editors at the exclusive catwalk shows. How things change: These days the runaway progress of tech has allowed people at home to drool over the designers' fabulous creations as the models vogue their way down the runway. If people love a design that much - and have the sufficient spare cash - they can even harness the internet to buy it; using their tablet or smartphone, naturally.
But this tech revolution didn't just happen overnight. There have been several key developments that have helped technology turn fashion week on its head. First up was the rise of Wi-Fi. This had a massive impact, allowing journalists and bloggers to fire breathless reports from their laptops right there on the front row. This allowed retailers to see what was hot and what was not in real time, speeding up the journey of a style to the high street and your favourite shopping site.
Another thing that has had a crucial impact in shaping the way people interact with fashion week is social media - particularly Twitter. Fashionistas and journalists clutching tablet computers can air their distaste or declare their love for pieces and collections in concise, 140-character stabs. Twitter also gives the average university fashion student an opportunity to get involved in fashion week, telling exactly what they loved about that Dior collection from the comfort of their bedroom with the help of desktop PCs.
But Twitter isn't the only way tablets have helped shape London's famed seven days of fashion. Tablets such as the iPad have breathed new life into the fashion media industry, with all-singing, all-dancing interactive digital editions. Another major boost here are the multimedia options available with tablet editions, helping keep fashion fans bang on-trend with backstage videos and photo galleries to complement the traditional features.
So we know how journalists have been using technology over the past couple of years, but what is there to look forward to at this year's seven days of couture? Well, quite a bit. But among the highlights is the move by the British Fashion Council (BFC) to stream some 37 shows live - yep we did say 37.
If you've grown used to enjoying your content with a multimedia sheen, the LED screen erected at London Fashion Week's HQ will be right up your street too. The huge screen brings together the live streams, regular video updates and tweets from the @londonfashionweek feed. Plus if you're always on the go don't fret, because the same content is going to be beamed onto screens at a number of Tube stations.
Fashion has always been fast-paced, constantly evolving. But its deepening love affair with cutting-edge technology is likely to herald further changes over the coming years. Burberry has embraced Twitter and suchlike with open arms, streaming shows and allowing buyers to buy while the show's still going on. Next time you surf the web in pursuit of retail therapy, ponder over how much the internet and technology has changed not just London Fashion Week, but fashion - and shopping - in general.
London Fashion Week kicks off on Friday September 16, but will you be using your tablet computer to follow its progress? Comment below…