london fashion week

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - London Fashion Week Democratisation
Image source: London Fashion Weekend

Ahead of London Fashion Week, the British Fashion Council has laid out new plans with the aim to increase consumer engagement during the event. Firstly they have partnered with Ocean Outdoor, a media company which specialises in digital billboards, to enable live streaming of London Fashion Week to the public. While you may have seen similar screens pop up around London during previous fashion weeks, this time the BFC are thinking bigger; Ocean Outdoor’s screens will be located at 60 outdoor locations across the UK, bringing in an estimated viewership of 35 million people.

Other initiatives in place for LFW include talks, in association with American Express, with the likes of Gareth Pugh and Sølve Sundsbo, and some brands intend to make individual efforts to connect with the consumer. Topshop.com, for example, will showcase a podcast series featuring NewGen designers like Ryan Lo and Danielle Romeril discussing the inspirations behind their latest work.

Across the pond, tickets to New York Fashion Week are on sale to the public at a premium. London, meanwhile, has London Fashion Weekend (February 25th – 28th), which will give those outside of the industry set the opportunity to see FW16 runway shows from four esteemed London designers: Mary Katrantzou, Temperley London, Holly Fulton and Emilia Wickstead. In comparison to New York’s lofty ticket prices, entry to London Fashion Weekend would cost you as little as £20.

Recently, Burberry, Vetements, Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford have all announced that they will no longer be conforming to the traditional fashion calendar. Vetements will be showing its women’s and men’s collections in January and June, two months ahead of the rest of Paris Fashion Week’s shows. Burberry and Tom Ford, meanwhile, will be releasing their new-season wares for sale as soon as they’ve done the rounds on the catwalk. In a statement, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey said these changes “will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves.”

>There’s no denying that the fashion system is undergoing a major overhaul. Will the BFC’s ‘consumer first’ initiatives – and individual brands’ efforts to defy the rules of the long-standing fashion calendar – really help to democratise fashion and, in turn, boost consumer spending? Once the AW16 shows have come to a close, it’s likely the future of fashion will be much clearer.

Join the BFC at our London Summit, this May 17-18, where they will be looking to at the future of fashion weeks. Super early bird tickets available until February 20, book your ticket here.

Reported by Grace Howard

Decoded Fashion - Weekly Stories - Henry Holland
Image source: Visa Europe

It’s time to say “ta-ta” to the newly housed LFW! London Fashion Week felt refreshed in its new Soho location, with another wave of brands ensuring tech was embraced in the British fashion capital. So, who was killing it in the digital stakes this season?

Burberry’s Snap-Show

Given its track record of using tech to its advantage, it was little surprise that Burberry became the first brand to showcase its latest collection on Snapchat. Ahead of its S/S 16 show on Monday, the brand launched a featured Snapchat story that gave fans a preview of the collection on the app before it hit the runway, plus a look backstage. Models Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Jourdan Dunn, as well as Burberry CEO Christopher Bailey, also featured in the Snapchat collection.

Hunter’s Periscope Headliners

British heritage brand Hunter opted to use Periscope in the build-up to its S/S 16 Hunter Original show. The Twitter-owned, live video-streaming app gave Hunter the opportunity to showcase the bands lined up to play at the event – including Fear of Men and Tropics – before it began, as well as some behind-the-scenes action.

It wasn’t all done with existing Hunter fans in mind, though – the brand’s creative director Alasdhair Willis told Wonderland Magazine he hoped to reach “a broader audience that might not traditionally engage with London Fashion Week”.

Topshop’s Pinterest Palettes

Clued into taking the power of fashion week beyond the catwalk, Topshop collaborated with Pinterest to create Pinterest Palettes – a collection of shoppable Pinterest boards that use technology to spot emerging colour trends on the runways.

Topshop.com customers can also use Pinterest Palettes to find their “colour DNA” by submitting one of their own Pinterest boards to the system; customers then receive personalised shopping recommendations from Topshop based on their colour preferences.

Pinterest Palettes will remain online for the duration of the remaining Fashion Weeks and will conclude on October 8.

Henry Holland’s Invisible Tech

In an interesting move, House of Holland partnered with Visa Europe Collab to create what Henry Holland dubbed “connected jewellery”. At the brand’s S/S 16 show on Saturday, costume rings embedded with NFC technology were given to VIP guests, enabling them to shop the collection directly from the front row.

When guests – including Alexa Chung and Daisy Lowe – decided they liked something on the catwalk, they could buy it instantly by sending out a signal through their jewellery. “For me, it was about making the technology invisible, so that the items are desirable pieces you’d want to wear regardless,” said Henry Holland.

IMG to Step Up London’s Tech Game

Finally, it has just been announced that IMG, the corporate brain behind many of New York Fashion Week’s best tech moments this season, has become a patron of the British Fashion Council. Expect to see bigger, better fashion-tech projects in future seasons at London Fashion Week.

Interested in who’s innovating at Fashion Week? Next month in New York, Decoded Fashion and W Magazine will launch the Fashion Futures Awards, celebrating talent across the fashion and technology industries. Find out more here.

Reported by Grace Howard

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“Let’s start with this: fashion weeks are becoming increasingly consumer facing. We know that. Gone are the days of exclusive events for press and buyers only. Social media changed it forever, live streaming opened it up even further, and now designers are inviting the public along in person too.”

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“The British Fashion Council has announced new headquarters for London Fashion Week, beginning with the Fall 2016 season in September.”

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“London fashion Week began last Friday and will attract over 5,000 visitors; mostly buyers, journalists, photographers and TV and radio crews. But perhaps this year we can expect to see a less familiar type of attendee; scientists and tech geeks?”

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“Topshop has a reputation for bringing the runway show experience to its customers, having offered a live-streamed online glimpse into its Topshop Unique shows since 2012. Now, to mark London Fashion Week, the retailer has teamed with Twitter to harness the trends that the fashion industry is Tweeting about during the shows and giving its customers the chance to shop those trends.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily -  TopShop
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“Many critics share one opinion on the Google Glass and that is it is too expensive and miles away from reaching its full potential (a.k.a. not a good buy for someone without the few thousands dollar lying around.) As a response, Google is trying to penetrate the fashion-conscious market, a group more than willing to spend on a $20,000 Hermes handbag.”

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“Natalie Massenet opened London Fashion Week this morning heralding the week as a time for digital innovation across the industry.”

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Decoded Fashion - Fashion Tech Daily - London Fashion Week