Fashion, New Media and the Queer

For those who have not seen this tribute to Lee Alexander McQueen by Nick Knight. Music by Bjork.

Recently I came across a few videos and it led me into thinking about how new media can be integrated into fashion, particularly the video/film aspect in more groundbreaking concepts. New media can be defined as film, images, music, spoken and written word with the interactive power of telecommunications. This is not something new of course. What you want is something unique and different. A concept that hasn’t been done before. A concept that is still developing and in the experimental stages and relatively new. A concept that could start a trend among other designers. A concept that can make the viewer/audience go ‘WOW’ or ‘That’s interesting’. That is where exclusivity comes into place. You will be recognised as the person who started this trend and not one of the few who followed. Even if your idea is not that great (but also not a snoozy), you are still a pioneer and it puts your brand/name out there; generates publicity.

Blow Up by Loewe. Celebrating 35 years of the Amazona bag. Directed by Hollywood special effects expert James Lima, styled by Katie Grand and starring, model Ana Beatriz Barros.

One of the brands that I want to highlight is Burberry. We all know about Christopher Bailey live streaming his runway shows and many other designers too (though I can’t pinpoint who started it first), but he was actually the first to stream it in 3D for the Fall/Winter 2010/2011 season. The live stream was also shown at a string of parties in New York, Paris, Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles which were by invite only and people like us can view the runway show live on their website. Besides the actual show itself, backstage and behind-the-scenes footage were also shown to the global audience. Avant-garde? Yes. You get the idea.

Burberry went even further for their Spring/Summer 2011 showcase-offering viewers the chance to order the collection straight off the runway. However, this was not a new idea. When Halston re-launched in 2008 with the Fall/Winter 2008/2009 collection, they collaborated with Net-A-Porter to sell two dresses right after the runway show on the NAP site. Roland Mouret did it too when he first launched the RM by Roland Mouret line in the Fall/Winter 2007/2008 season. But Burberry wasn’t the only brand doing that that season; Rad Hourani did it too. For the first concept, it was taking live streaming a step further but to be honest, how much further? Showing the live stream at parties (Burberry live streamed their Spring/Summer 2011 collection at their stores too) is a nice touch yes, but 3D? We can definitely do without it. I believe it’s only a trend which won’t become a permanent fixture. Dazed & Confused did a 3D cover. Who else has not done something in 3D you tell me!

Burberry Spring/Summer 2011 Campaign. Do you know of any other labels who have done videos to complement their ad campaigns?

For the Burberry Prorsum Menswear Fall/Winter 2011 show, which just happened, there was the live stream as usual plus complementary photos of looks off the runway which you can order now. If this is going to be a trend, I wonder how much will this affect buyers since the ‘middle man’ has been cut off. Buyers’ guesswork of deciding which clothes are going to sell will be rendered useless to a certain extent as the customers are already picking out which clothes they want. On another note, rain literally came down for the finale as the boys of Burberry came out in raincoats. It certainly made me sit up!

The soundtrack was awesome as usual, featuring Dusty Springfield, Cliff Richard, Muse and Roger Daltrey. But little did I know of the Burberry Acoustic project, introduced in the middle of last year. This is a collaboration between emerging British artistes and the designer label. They even produced an album based on it. Talk about a holistic approach and if you visit Burberry’s interactive website, Art of the Trench you will be greeted with songs from the featured artistes of Burberry Acoustic. I think that this is a brilliant idea and a win-win scenario for both parties! If you’re into the local fashion scene, I believe KIN is gonna do something similar too. Exciting stuff indeed!

Gareth Pugh does it again with another video to showcase his Fall/Winter 2011 collection at the recent Pitti Immagine fair-event. Read more about it here!

In other recent news, to kick off the Menswear Fall/Winter 2011/2012 show, the Ermenegildo Zegna Menswear Fall/Winter 2011/2012 show was shown with a giant green screen as a backdrop. Yes much like the one used in making movies. Talk about breaking new grounds; the scene featured the Great Wall of China in celebration of the brand’s 20-year partnership/collaboration with China. View the entire collection here.

Film and fashion, music and fashion, art and fashion, architecture and fashion, dance and fashion. How else can we reinvent the way fashion is presented to the world in this new decade of the 21st century? How much further can we push these accustomed ways and take that extra step to be different? Do we wait with bated breathe or expect the usual? Let’s hope for the former.

x fashionslop

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