Highs, Lows and Shades of Gray at London’s First Digital Fashion Week

Highs, Lows and Shades of Gray at London’s First Digital Fashion Week
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LONDON — Right here, WWD takes a have a look at among the highlights of the three-day showcase, which wrapped Sunday night, and suggests the place there could be room for enchancment.

The Highs

• The platform the British Trend Council constructed for the net showcase might be an important asset for designers and finish customers specifically. Going ahead, it should proceed to function a hub for designers’ digital content material, with the BFC step by step including extra instruments and elements.

• Many designers who took half within the on-line schedule, together with Matthew Miller and Christopher Raeburn, radiated optimism and provided up essential desirous about these turbulent instances, tackling points concerning the failing style cycle, racism, range and psychological well being points.

• The Hill and Pals quick movie, awash in shades of pink — foolish and filled with optimism.

• Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s fundraiser for U.Okay. Black Pleasure, with a standout efficiency by Rachel Chinouriri, a 19-year-old singer/songwriter from Croydon, South London.

• Many designers embraced the chance to work exterior the parameters of the normal runway present schedule and labored on tasks and merchandise that swimsuit them finest, be it a deadstock capsule, a full spring 2021 lineup and even inventive collaborations that don’t have anything to do with garments.

• The showcase proved that London’s designers are embracing most of the developments that may outline the style trade post-COVID-19, together with doubling down on unisex collections and taking design past the runway — and past garments — with ‘zines, books, exhibitions and movies.

• Regardless that there have been only a few new-season collections, key retailers nonetheless took half, together with panel discussions hosted by Bergdorf Goodman’s Bruce Pask, a collaboration between Natasha Zinko and The Webster and the edit and set up of British manufacturers by Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées. Different retailers, similar to Farfetch and GR8 in Tokyo, had been additionally massive supporters of the showcase and had been instrumental in spreading the London phrase to native markets and constituents.

The invitation to Charles Jeffrey Loverboy’s on-line fundraiser for U.Okay. Black Pleasure, with an illustration by Ashton Attzs. 

The Lows

• Regardless of this being a free occasion and open to all, engagement was low. Instagram livestreams usually drew simply 100 to 200 viewers. When YouTube movies had been non-public and solely accessible by hyperlinks, these viewer numbers went as little as 20. It means designers aren’t actually benefiting a lot from the openness of the platform.

• A lot of the content material was repetitive. Everybody appears to be speaking about the identical subjects — sustainability, the ailing style system, waste, the affect of COVID-19 on style — and the “in dialog” segments had been usually too lengthy and audiences shortly received bored. There ought to have been extra future-facing narratives and more difficult, agenda-setting conversations moderately than designers speaking about their course of, and having solipsistic conversations with their mentors.

• There was an absence of curation, with an excessive amount of content material loaded onto the website and no clear distinction between the on-schedule shows and the pre-recorded, evergreen content material. This made it tough to navigate. Given the large saturation of on-line content material typically proper now, it’s straightforward to think about consumer — until tuning in for skilled functions — would shortly hand over and depart.

• The brand new platform featured the standard designers, BFC ambassadors and traditional faces conducting interviews or in conversations. This was an important alternative to contain a greater diversity of London creatives and showcase new personalities and designers.

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