How Fashion is Digitalising Globally
Words by Mikhaila Simpson
‘The First Monday of May’ just didn’t feel the same as we scrolled through social media feeds not adjourned in MET Gala memes. But lucky for us, the fashion industry is innovative, and the incredible content taking place online right now is making sure we’re all getting our fabulous fix.
From designers turning their pieces into video-game replicas, or creators sharing their industry knowledge free of charge online, the sense of community is at an all-time high and has kept me thriving to learn what I can while time is at my disposal.
Fashion Week Interrupted
This year would’ve been 25 years of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia, but due to the global pandemic, MBFWA along with Fashion Weeks all over the world, have unfortunately been cancelled. Taking their celebrations to their Instagram page, @FashionWeekAus used their digital platform to highlight the resilient industry. Videos sent in from international leaders that have built paths and amplified their message through fashion, make up this project honouring the most important annual fashion event of Australia. The series features dozens of inspirational words from individuals worldwide sharing what the industry and Fashion Week mean to them, I highly recommend checking out the series on Australian Fashion Week’s Instagram highlights.
Our very own Founder and Director of The Fashion Institute, Sarah Stavrow, reminisced about the college’s participation during Fashion Week in an instalment of the series. The Fashion Institute has been partnering with MBFWA for over 10 years when Sarah launched the Business Course. Collaborating with the event has allowed 150 students yearly to gain irreplaceable experience backstage with designers and make-up artists. It was devastating news to receive news that as student we wouldn’t be able to assist at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia this year, it is such an honour to be given that platform through our college and I can’t wait to see what hard work we’ll be doing at MBFWA 2021!
In Conversation with Jason Wu and Lily Aldridge
Supermodel Lily Aldridge and Fashion Designer Jason Wu shared an Instagram live in honour of New York Fashion Week, discussing how even the fashion elites have lost track of the days. Jason Wu talks about finishing a collection from his New York home and honouring the MET Gala in quarantine. Lily Aldridge shares her tips for staying fit and healthy while taking care of her kids full-time and what her beauty routine is looking like to keep her radiant. (Spoiler: if it makes me even a little bit as beautiful as Lily, I might need to grab an amethyst face roller too!)
The video is a relaxing insight into a celebrity friendship and how special communication is right now in the world regardless of who you are. Lily and Jason highlight charities they have been supporting and donating to especially in these hard times, reminding us all to support each other if we have the resources and be kind to our community.
If you’re looking on how to make your own sourdough starter, or what it can be like judging for RuPaul’s Drag Race, the half an hour-long video is available to watch on the @NYFW IGTV tab of their page in full.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Designer Collections
A perfect example of utilising less traditional platforms is luxury designers taking their fashion from the runway to Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the Nintendo Switch. Strict social distancing laws and venue capacity restrictions have meant the usual way of fashion shows has not been readily available. Spending time locked at home playing Animal Crossing, and having a lucrative fashion house sparked New York designer, Sandy Liang, to host a pop-up store on her virtual island. Collaborating with luxury buyer, Paige Rubin, they spent hours re-creating Sandy’s designs and invited the world to wear them after noticing other players creating their own outfits from scratch.
Fashion labels Marc Jacobs and Valentino, have followed Liang and launched their own digital pieces from the Spring/Summer 2020 collections. Offering players luxury designs to wear while digging up fossils and catching butterflies really brings a sense of glamour to your Animal Crossing character. I mean, who wouldn’t want to run around their own private island decked out in designer? Exactly.
Times have been trying, and industries have had to adapt quickly to survive these last few gruelling months. Light is at the end of the tunnel and taking time to appreciate the beauty of the enduring fashion industry has shown me exactly what is at my fingertips. Technology is constantly evolving and improving, there is always something new that you can create. The main things quarantine has taught me is to share your knowledge, don’t underestimate your ideas and stay safe in the world. It can feel like fashion is halting, but change is what we make it. As we engrain our own mark on the fashion industry, we must digitalise too.