NET TILL THE DO US PART
To those in the know, there is no denying that what began as a tepid courtship between fashion and the social media, is now a fullblown affair. It began with the small-time bloggers who hit the big time with their interpretation of runway shows and street styles, their Internet chronicles readily lapped up by the public and media alike. Then came the advent of e-tail businesses, providing luxury at everyone’s doorsteps with online shopping portals. And now with the influx of Web 2.0 technologies, social media portals, and the more recent smartphone apps, the online voice of fashion has proliferated exponentially.
Through it all however, the storied brands tended to maintain a stoic silence, for a long time torn between a number of pertinent questions— would it take away from the brand’s aspirational qualities? Would more accessibility mean dissolution of luxury? Or would jumping on a popular bandwagon seem unoriginal? Through it all, though, one thing was certain —love it or hate it, you couldn’t ignore the draw of the Internet.
Seemingly coming to terms with this over the past three years, fashion brands have opened their eyes to the enormous potential of the Internet, and those who recognise this are clearly moving away from tradition and setting new digital boundaries and milestones. So whether its Alexander Wang’s live-streaming shows to locales beyond the exclusive confines of fashion week venues, or Diane von Furstenberg and Proenza Schouler constantly updating their Facebook and Twitter accounts, the Internet is gaining a luxe, new clientele. Louis Vuitton’s Amble is a new and interactive travel guide application for phones, while Valentino’s online 3D, interactive e-museum allows one to admire all the classics in all their glory. There are tablet apps, e-commerce websites, and online-shopping portals that allow one to customise clothing. The playing field is truly vast and endless, the territory practically unchartered. Leading the charge are also Burberry, Diesel, Ralph Lauren, Gucci, and Thakoon that are now grabbing eyeballs with their online antics, and owning a piece of virtual space.
Hence, this section celebrates fashion’s entry to the digital realm. Read about the best of luxury e-tail as online shopping booms, or if you’re considering starting up your own fashion blog, there are tips galore as well. For some E-fashion 101, there are also India’s finest designers tweeting their views on Indian fashion. And last but not the least, see how brands are raising the digital bar with their new apps for smartphones and tablets. So get with the cool few who have tied that undying knot with the digital realm.
Fashion at a click
Clockwise from left; Valentino; Oscar de la Renta; Michael Kors.