Fashion Forward or Backward?

explores the technology behind fashion today

Bloggers on the front row: it seems La Wintour is the only one paying attention

Bloggers on the front row: it seems La Wintour is the only one paying attention

Tweet, tweet, tweet. According to Elle magazine, an extraordinary 5,218 tweets were posted during the catwalks of S/S ‘10. Fashion, not unlike the celebrity industry, is constantly evolving, shocking, and generating the passionate interest of millions of people worldwide.

In one sense, the connection between fashion and technology (whether it be blogs or online magazines) is fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to know the height in inches of McQueen’s armadillo shoes? Or which supermodel was pictured writhing with snakes on a backdrop? (Raquel Zimmerman, in case you were wondering.)

Twitter is constantly being used throughout all runway shows – even to the point that the front row have their eyes glued to their laptops and Blackberries instead of the models. Here are some facts to support this seemingly endless obssession.

On February 23 this year, Burberry was the first line to create a show that the audience had to watch in 3D glasses. Whilst we may wonder if the glasses were Burberry branded – the audience members did note that it made the colours of the clothes appear darker. Some were quoted as saying: “You can’t beat seeing the clothes in real life”- surely an obvious point?
Furthermore, it was recorded that a “Twitter war” has started on the fashion scene, involving companies to hire others to hack into their respective systems. I’m not sure of the inner working of the big design houses but I have a feeling the time could be better spent.

And it doesn’t just stop at Twitter. The catwalk shows themselves are also embracing hi-tech additions to modernize the way we view fashion. Think Kate Moss holograms and also strobe lighting, laser shows and imagery.

But here’s the crux: has this boom in technology, liberal opinions and influx of bloggers somehow distracted from the magic of fashion, and – arguably more importantly – style?
“There’s more to fashion than clothes.” True. But whilst I believe that it’s amazing that designers are constantly working towards creating inspiring fashion shoes, something feels a bit amiss.

Firstly, I believe that as we dubiously make our way into 2010 and beyond, it’s really quite difficult to pinpoint a certain trend or look that we all gravitate towards. It’s easy to name the items that we correspond with the 60s, 70s and 80s (stonewashed denim, anyone?).

Yet now, whilst individuality is strong, sometimes (especially on the high street) repetition creeps in. Nautical stripes, originally popularized in the 1940s, are again ever-present on the shelves of the high street (most notably Zara) and that uncertain feeling as to the credibility of your outfit threatens. Is what you’re wearing too cliché, blasé, or, God forbid, passé?
The need to rely on Twitter for constant style updates has meant that we have drifted away from what truly matters about fashion – icons and traditions.

If we think back to the breakthroughs made as recently as the 1980s (the rise of punk clothing and the subsequent shoots were originally frowned upon by the largest fashion houses, but they then gradually accepted the trend), it seems that modernity is rather a poor substitute.

Overall, it can seem that we’re stuck in a state of indecision- wandering between the wilderness of futuristic tailoring or regressing to Levi’s flares. We’ve reached a point in fashion where we have the choice – a freedom to choose when it comes to style.

During London Fashion Week, it astonished me at how hard people tried to prove and underline this by wearing the most ridiculous outfits possible, including one man wearing a cardboard dress decorated with the faces of cats. There was no way he could be called stylish or fashion forward, but rather he seemed more of a product of a modern world where we all dressed like freaks.

I therefore must conclude that whilst we should embrace the freedom of now being able to wear exactly what we wish and able to gain information within the seconds, modern technology does, to some degree, make us forget what fashion is really about.

It is about inherent style and taking inspiration from things that actually move you, rather than trusting whichever blogger comes up on your news feed.

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