There’s no shortage of discussion around the future of the traditional fashion week format and the most likely immediate change is an influx of virtual fashion shows.
TEXT: ADAM BRYCE
Over 20 years ago, in 1998, Helmut Lang famously showed his collection through a live internet broadcast to the world, via the newly created company’s website. As you can imagine, the presentation, while incredibly innovative for the time, lacked the technology needed to really bring the collection to life.
Fast forward 22 years and we haven’t really seen a huge improvement in this format, nor have we really seen any further innovation. Sure, we’ve had collections that are shown live with the ability to click through to brand’s eCommerce but I find it hard to see that as creative innovation, and more a fairly expected next stage in development.
Earlier this year, China was brought to a stand still. Little did we know that the rest of the world was soon to follow, due to the effects of the devastating Coronavirus, later renamed Covid-19. The effects of this virus were so devastating that it was hardly mentioned that the fashion world could miss out on Shanghai Fashion Week, with designers unable to bring their collections to Shanghai and international buyers restricted from entering the country. But, just like the new generation of Chinese fashion brands, there was a sense of extra determination and innovation around the corner.
In just a few short weeks, Xcommons, a fashion showroom-come-consultancy, with a host of Chinese design talent (starting to make waves internationally) and artist InterCreative-United, managed to produce probably the best virtual shows we’ve seen yet. Designers Andrea Jiapei Li, Xu Zhi and Roderic Wong showed their collections in the way they deserved to be shown with no compromise made.
Finally, we were able to see the virtual runway at a standard deserving of the talent behind the clothes. As we prepare for what’s to come of the the rest of the year’s fashion week schedule, take a look below at what Xcommons and friends were able to create.