The Fashion World Embraces Digital

Despite being almost 3,500 miles away, this week I have been enthralled by all the Instagram pics, Viddy videos (my new fav app), and backstage tweets capturing the buzz of New York Fashion Week, giving us non-fashionistas a real glimmer of what it might feel like to be in big apple right now. This year NYFW has really embraced the digital world from the likes of Michael Kors, Marc Jacobs and even Oscar de la Renta.  The most exciting digital infused intiative was perhaps the Google’s Project Glass, which wowed the front row at Diane von Furstenberg’s spring 2013 show, showing that wearable tech can be high fashion. Models at the DVF Spring 2012 show at NYFW strutted down the catwalk sporting the glasses, and beaming back live images from the show to the brand’s Google+ page. The show ended with von Furstenberg walking down the runway wearing the glasses. Designer von Furstenberg wore the glasses to record preparations for the show through her own eyes, and a short film of this footage, DVF Through Glass, will be released on DVF’s Google+ page and Google’s YouTube channel. Smart.

So in what I am calling the most digitalised and social fashion week EVER, here are a selection of my favourite Instagram pics from NYFW:

And if you think that was exciting, London designers promise even more action at their shows, with a whopping 70% of the shows being live streamed.

With Anya Hindmarch and Osman showcasing their fashion diary and live pinning on Pinterest, and Matthew Williamson doing live Q&A’s, Topshop is marching ahead with their partnership with Facebook to make their fashion show experience more inclusive for its legions of fans. Facebook engineers have created a camera button as part of the catwalk livestream where users can click to capture their favourite looks to share online. And for the first time, website users will be able to customise clothes and accessories from the latest Topshop Unique collection as they appear on the catwalk. I am seriously excited by this and am majorly impressed with Topshop’s forward thinking digital attitude.

We all know Burberry have always been extremely keen when it comes to digital expriences, where in previous years they have tweeted pictures of their models before they entered the catwalk and even streamed their shows on their Facebook page and in store, but this year they promise to go one step further and host a virtual show of its spring/summer collection at its new Regent Street space.

Along with all of this, for the first time, shows and events in the Show Schedule booklet for LFW can be downloaded to a smartphone calendar via Aurasma, bringing print to digital life and providing an organisational tool for visitors. Using their mobile device, visitors simply need to download the free Aurasma Lite app and then hold it over the LFW image, at which point it will spring to life with exclusive video content. Really great to see the efforts the British Fashion Council have made not only to embrace social, but mobile as well, finally harnessing technology and creativity to promote British designers to global audiences!

I am so excited to see the fashion world embrace the digital space and cannot wait to see what happens next. In the meantime I have fashion shows to live stream..

Valtari Hour

Something very special happened on Thursday night (17th May). Prior to their May 29 release, as a way to wet the world’s appetite for their sixth studio album, Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Ros hosted a rolling hourly event for fans across the globe to hear their new album. At indie record stores, on the band’s website and at dozens of participating radio stations, Sigur Ros fans were exposed to the beautiful sounds of Valtari, and encouraged to post to Twitter and Instagram about their listening experience.

Starting off in New Zealand, as they were the first to reach 7 pm, ‘Valtari hour’ (as it was dubbed) was a huge success. At a time where a bands precious music so often gets leaked online and downloaded illegally, Sigur Ros strived to reclaim the buzz for its release date, and create a real excitement around the album launch. In my opinion, it did just that.

In what seemed like a worldwide Mexican wave of airplay, Sigur Ros managed to capture the magic of new years eve, with thousands of fans across the world waiting for the clock to turn 7pm so they could hear the much anticipated play of their beautiful album tracks. Unaware of the excitement to come, I was listening to BBC Radio 1 as I usually do, and at exactly 7pm, Zane Lowe introduced Sigur Ros’ new sound to the UK. I was immediately transfixed on the beautiful sounds coming out of my car radio. And what was even more special, was knowing that I was participating in a worldwide event, just by listening. Hour by hour, each country across the globe got to collectively share in my experience as the Valtari love was passed on. What an ingenious 24 hour marketing campaign from their record company.

If you are lucky enough to be going to Bestival this September, then you will get to hear the band play their first UK show for over four years. But for those, like me, whom are not as fortunate, get ready to close your eyes and let those elegiac chords suspend your subconscious..

You don’t have to be smart to use social media

You may remember Kelly Cutrone, founder of PR firm People’s Revolution (one of the most powerful fashion PR companies in the world), from the MTV hit series The Hills, and The City. On air she was seen to help fashion designer Whitney Port start up her first line, and essentially equipped her for life in the cruel world of fashion. She was fierce. She was blunt. She took no shit. And she hasn’t changed. Not one bit. And is now even fiercer than ever.

According to Kelly Cutrone, you don’t have to be smart to use social media. She says this whilst casually starting off her first TED talk to the students at Oxford University with a tweet, which she labels as “my little PR part for the event”. To her, everything is about creating your own brand and getting your name out there, and social media presents the perfect opportunity to do this.  I don’t know whether it’s tragic or not, that a 45 year old woman, dressed all in black, and slumped over a podium, is unable to begin her talk without tweeting. Is that really what PR is all about? Perhaps you can take a look and decide.

Without further ado, I present to you sharpe-tongued legendary PR maven, Kelly Cutrone, on Cash, Consciousness and Capitalism: