What’s your take on “Virtual Fashion”?

What can be said about “Virtual Fashion”?

We are at the end of our first pandemic season. The shift to digital was a surprise to many in the industry. It caught us off guard, but we adjusted…not easily and there was a lot of trial and error.  In fact, we’re still learning. We did four digital runways for the Fall of 2020. Our take…. well…it’s mixed.

We started in Phoenix with a promising experience for Phoenix Fashion Week’s Spring into Fashion. Production lined up facilities to film, filmography to shoot, and models to slay the digital runway. Unfortunately, Arizona changed the rules for the game.

10 days out we were forced to shift gears. It became a completely remote and digital production. While, admittedly, it didn’t really work out. I must compliment Phoenix Fashion Week and its production for a monumental effort.

What did we learn?

Models doing their own videos…was, well, hit or miss. However, it does illustrate the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes.  Normally, I show up, fit models, check-in on hair, and makeup. Then wait until the music begins.  It’s amazing how much you don’t notice backstage. Digital formats have put that effort into the forefront.

We moved on to    Omaha Fashion Week.

This one was unique. For 2 reasons. First, it was a hybrid digital and live event. There was both the virtual runway and a reduced audience. Having the audience there was exciting.  As many may have guessed, our impact is much better live. Thus, OFW promised to be a great event. And they delivered! It was definitely a new experience backstage with social distancing and masks required on the runway. But it was refreshing not to be crammed into the back corner of a transportation museum next to a military display with creepy wax figures. It also afforded me an opportunity to really have fun with the masks. This was our debut for the Spring 2021 Avant-Garde collection.  Not only the first full couture collection for me but also the largest. Matching the mask to the piece was a fantastic touch. Thematically, it was great. The combination of digital and live was a little buggy, but overall, it worked. Once again though, the standout was how much work goes into production, and with digital, it requires more effort from us as well.

Latin Fashion Week

was a highlight for us.

Not only did we get to contribute positively to the Denver Latin community. We were able to celebrate LatinX Heritage Month in style with some amazingly talented women. I did, however, pull a Duane. While filming for the virtual runway, I thought it was a promotional shoot.  Consequently, I only brought 7 ½ pieces (left a skirt in my studio), decided only 5 fit properly, and thus that’s what I showed. After we filmed, I asked when the filming would be for the actual production. They said, “We just did.”

Whaaaaat?

It worked out though. The quality of the video was great. The models were diverse, nontraditional, and amazing. While the actual technical side of finding the final product the day it aired was problematic. Mostly because technology is my Achilles heel. The final verdict, great production, but once again, more work than a live event.

The final production,

Kansas City Fashion Week.

This one we were ready for, and we were able to end the Fall 2020 fashion season with a bang. It took us a few tries to adjust to the digital format, KCFW we put some of those lessons to practice.  Backstage was bustling and busy. It was fast-paced and required a consistent hands-on approach. But we ended up with great content and a barometer for our success in the Midwest. The loyalty of our fans, models, media, and clients in the Kansas City area was both humbling and breathtaking. The entire process went smoothly and we landed a new signature model in Corra Clawson.

In the end

We’ll look back on 2020 with unease, joy, and with an eye for the catalyst of change.

A change we all had to make.

But I believe, in the end, the extra effort to stay relevant, the time to challenge myself creatively, and the launching of a new idea to connect with individuals, will become a blessing in disguise.

We are of course, still anxious about the future.  But hopefully, we’ll be standing in the end.

So, tell us, what’s your take on “virtual fashion”?

 

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