Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Dissolving Coat PFW
Image source: Hussein Chalayan

With the Paris shows coming to a close this week, Fashion Month is now over. But what did Paris Fashion Week bring to the table in terms of tech? From light-up sandals to dissolvable dresses and bags that can showcase your favourite films, it seems that Paris loves its wearables. Here are just five of our top tech moments from the French capital.

Hussein Chalayan’s Dissolvable Dresses

“If you don’t take risks in the fashion world, you stay static,” says Hussein Chalayan. A perfectly valid reason, then, to make two of his designs dissolve on his SS16 runway. At the end of Chalayan’s show, two models stood calmly under a running shower and slowly – magically – their white, water-soluble shirt dresses broke down to reveal beautiful Swarovski-embellished gowns underneath.

As well as being yet another tech-meets-design triumph for Chalayan, who has a reputation for bringing a performance art element to his shows, this particular fashion moment went viral online.

Anrealage’s Light Show

Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga, the brains behind young brand Anrealage, challenged his audience to change the way they see clothes on the runway. Show attendees were invited to use the flash on their cameras when photographing the clothes, which were constructed using photosensitive fabric. Under harsh, bright flashlight, the colour of the clothes transformed. Putting the fun element aside, however, was this perhaps a bit too gimmicky to translate anywhere away from the runway?

Tom Ford & Lady Gaga Join Forces

Tom Ford shunned a generic runway presentation this season, instead opting to showcase his latest wares through the medium of video – music video, to be precise. Guest-starring Lady Gaga, who also provided the short film’s soundtrack, the video showcases Ford’s gaudy eveningwear in an engaging way, showing a ‘fun’ side of fashion that isn’t often seen at Paris Fashion Week. “Having a runway show has become so much about the creation of imagery for online and social media,” Ford explained. “I wanted to think about how to present a collection in a cinematic way.”

Diana Broussard’s Customisable Video Bag

Despite hailing from New York, accessories designer Diana Broussard decided to wait until Paris Fashion Week to showcase her latest design: a Plexiglas shoulder bag with an LCD video screen. The dbChronicle bag, which will retail for $1,950, can either play a video of the consumer’s choice, or a generic, so-called “aspirational” video created by Broussard and her team. Recharging the bag is as simple as plugging it into your laptop via a USB cable.

Old-School Wearables at Chanel

Even if live streaming didn’t exist, Chanel shows would still become trending topics on Twitter. The brand hardly pushes boundaries with its approach to tech, but it probably doesn’t need to – the ever extravagant, themed, expensive sets are a spectacle in themselves that never fail to hit Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat feeds all over the world.

Similarly, the celebrity hype surrounding the brand – both on the front row with Lily-Rose Depp and on the catwalk with Kendall Jenner – speaks for itself. However, Lagerfeld did bring some more tech into the mix for SS16 in the form of light-up Teva-style sandals, bringing back memories of 90s trainers with flashing soles.

Join us at our Milan Summit on November 17-18 to see how luxury brands are pushing tech to enhance their brand offering. Book your ticket here.

Reported by Grace Howard

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Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Couture Week July

Image source: Elle

The value of couture in the digital age has been much debated – it works, after all, at a polar opposite pace to the rest of luxury fashion, which has become so sped up as to see its seasons increasingly merge. But in a fast-paced industry subject to near-constant fashion weeks and the rise of the mid-season collection, Paris Haute Couture Week has retained its sense of occasion.

Paradoxically, for the facet of the industry most dedicated to creating in slow-time, the value of couture for luxury houses is now anchored in instant gratification, too. In a fashion environment that’s inextricable from social media, the bigger the event, the better the buzz.

In Paris, the most traditional and luxurious of houses has also emerged as the most social-media savvy of recent times. Chanel mounted its star-studded online offensive with a fantasy casino set up in the Grand Palais. There, the likes of Julianne Moore, Lara Stone, Kristen Stewart and Lily-Rose Depp (daughter of Vanessa and Johnny and Instagram heroine to teenage girls everywhere) placed their bets on gambling tables. The show, inevitably, hit the social buzz jackpot, enthralling press and followers alike.

Elsewhere during couture week, Giambattista Vali x Mac’s rose-covered Opéra and Dior’s pointillist church made the point that the outside of the show can pack just as much of a social media punch as the inside. What’s more, though Miu Miu has no couture collection of its own, the brand made the schedule work for its own benefit – throwing a disco party to show its Resort 16 collection that doubled up as a launch for its first ever fragrance. For brand-loyal fans, the #MiuMiuClub was a reminder of what youth and fun can do for couture – even without any couture clothes to speak of.

The value of physical events to brands in a social-mediated world is something not lost on many consumer brands: just look at the Super Bowl in the US, where the ad break bonanza resonates across social media like never before. But during a high-fashion institution like Haute Couture Week, the injection of social media value forms an important part of the pushback against minimalism for global brands: as the clothes, event and social media output of houses like Chanel demonstrate, it is still worth gambling on all-out excess.

Reported by Claire Healy


“In late March, Chanel’s president of fashion, Bruno Pavolovsky, told WWD that the the luxury brand would finally be launching e-commerce, possibly before the end of 2016. As it turns out, the company is actually testing the e-commerce waters as soon as next week.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - Chanel x Ecommerce

“We promise, this is not an April Fool’s joke. Chanel, one of the last fashion brands standing that does not offer e-commerce on products other than cosmetics — and which has long defended its decision to refrain from allowing customers to shop its high-end wares online — has apparently decided to get with the times.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  Chanel x E-Commerce