See by Chloe, the sister line to Chloe, today broke the mould and presented its first autumn winter 2012 catwalk collection online.
On the first day of Paris Fashion Week, while Dries van Noten, Rochas and Mugler were preparing their catwalk for the arrival of the world’s press and buyers, See by Chloe pressed play on a digital fashion show instead.
The occasion was on ELLE’s Paris Fashion Week schedule, wedged between Devastee and Guy Laroche. In the place of a venue, it simply said www.digitalfashionshows.com instead.
So here am I in the office for two days between the end of Milan Fashion Week and my arrival in Paris. Flats on my feet and a Flat White on my desk, about to start my first digital fashion show. We’ve all seen live streams before but what PR agency KCD, the producer of this show, has done is multiply the slickness and detail of a live stream show by 100. Each look walking towards you is shown as a full length and in detail while the model and clothing credits pings up underneath. Click a tab to see the hair and make-up close-up. Rewind to see a look again.
No more ‘is that cord or moleskin?’, gone is the angst of not seeing the shoes if you’re anything behind front row, shoo to the confident begger who has stolen your seat and pretends not to speak English.
There’s a concern among journalists that the heyday of fashion week might be behind us. You’d be hard pushed to find a fashion director or buyer who didn’t get in to this game to chase the thrill of a live catwalk show, inspired by witnessing magical ideas and unparalleled creativity first hand - this goes on to form the basis of the next six months of retail and editorial. It would be impossible to grasp an Alexander McQueen, a Chanel, a Jil Sander show without seeing it in person. The quality of journalism – no matter the field – would suffer terribly if we all just cribbed the jist of a designer’s collection from pictures, Twitter or from someone else who had been lucky enough to be there. But on a packed schedule of nine shows per day, a good few would be perfectly suited as a digital show instead. Brands like See by Chloe, which deserves more life and imagination than to be viewed hanging from a rail.
This collection was one of its best. Faithful to the mainline, great separates, beautifully presented and lending a new meaning to show traffic.