Friday marks the beginning of London Fashion Week - what has Spring/Summer 15 in store for us? While the actual catwalk shows are still somewhat exclusive affairs, there are numerous ways to partake in the fun - with the aid of your smartphone or tablet.
Fashion is evolving: the age of social has created an expectation in the consumer to be able to experience the brands they love, interact in real time and be part of happenings and conversations. London Fashion Week mirrors this new trend for inclusivity with a digital schedule and social channels full of live content, and a whole host of satellite events that would/could not be happening if it wasn't for the growing synergy between the fashion and digital spheres.
We've compiled the essential list to #LFW - from how to simply keep abreast of the hottest trends as they are presented collection after collection, to a 'battle' where startups are set to build the future of fashion tech.
1. Real-time catwalk shows
Access to the tent in the Somerset House courtyard might be strictly invitation-only, but most shows are actually live-streamed. Watching on a screen might sound less exciting than attending in person, but take this from someone who's been there year after year: catwalk shows can be hugely time-consuming. Hardly anyone reports on the very long queues to get in and the mandatory delays - we're talking about one and a half hours of your time, for a fifteen minutes show. Plus, once inside, you'll have to battle for a decent seat with a proper viewing angle. Watch online instead: no waiting, and the perfectly frontal view only reserved to photographers.
Some brands will also promote their own live-stream. Burberry is famously switched-on when it comes to digital (from their retail experience to product launches) and a countdown to their next catwalk is already live on their website (in the meantime, you can get in the mood by watching recordings from the past seasons). Last season, Topshop took LFW to the masses with a live stream in Oxford Circus, so we're expecting something exciting from them too.
And for a complete round-up, just head over to the British Fashion Council's YouTube channel.
The spotlight is currently on 'wearable tech' (never more so than today, after the launch of the Apple Watch), and common criticism is that fashion and tech still haven't really found a way to marry functions with real style. Well, forget about ugly wristwear, and feast your eyes on the work of TheUnseen. Lead by Material Alchemist Lauren Bowker, TheUnseen is an exploration house that blends biological and chemical matter into materials; focused on seeing the unseen by bringing research to art, design and performance, and creating exquisite couture and luxury products. TheUnseen showing as part of LFW's Designer Showrooms confirms that we are ready for a project that can seamlessly and innovatively blend science with style.
Where fashion and digital really do meet with great success is with social shopping and styling apps. And if Shopcade's success lies in bringing 1 million users together online (yes, they just reached the impressive milestone), they are now inviting the community to meet in a physical space during the weekend days of London Fashion Week. Taking over the White Space gallery, the focus will of course will be on shopping, with all the added fun of beauty makeovers, colourful food and happy DJ-spun tunes. The rails will be curated by some of Shopcade’s coolest retail partners such as Dark Pink, Clashist, Little Shilpa, Amelia Jane, Beauty Boulevard, Wonderluk, High Spirit, Gemma Goldstone, Heba Giggles, Karizma, Dazzle & Jolt and ILU Fitwear.
4. Global Fashion Battle
Now, this is where things get serious. Worldwide. This September, London, Milan, New York, Paris, and Poznań in Poland will be hosting Fashion & Tech themed Startup Weekends as part of the Global Fashion Battle. The Weekends will be hosted in each city to coincide with their respective Fashion Weeks, and the winners of each event will battle it out in a grand finale in Poznań, the home of the 8th Art & Fashion Forum powered by Grażyna Kulczyk.
Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. Each Weekend will be a 54-hour event bringing together developers, designers and non-techs, and helping them create functional companies from scratch. Anyone is encouraged to pitch their startup idea and receive feedback from their peers. Teams organically form around the top ideas (as determined by popular vote) and then it’s a 54-hour frenzy of business model creation, coding, designing and market validation. The Weekends will be focused on building out ideas that lend towards the Fashion and Retail industry. Fashion Innovations can represent anything truly new, disruptive and high-growth in the fashion vertical. Often this means employing new materials in new ways, finding a way to automate manual processes, creating methods to aggregate and analyze useful information, or establishing a new product category.
The weekend culminates with presentations in front of local entrepreneurial leaders - and we are very proud that Alex, our Director, is part of the team! Not only that: we can also offer you a discount code if you want to participate. Get 50% OFF with SWVIP - or gain FREE entry if you're a developer or designers: SW-VIP-DEVS.
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