Fashion shows’ history and their future with volumetric video
When Fashion meets tech
Fashion shows have been around for more than a century and there are some major innovations within the industry happening right now. Technologies are becoming more sophisticated every day and change our whole world. It comes as no surprise that fashion brands are collaborating more and more with tech companies. In this post we will take you on a journey through the history of fashion shows and also look into their future and the new generation of shows. Then, we will talk about our recent collaboration with Summa Fashion College and give you more insights into the production.
What are the current trends in fashion?
Fashion is a huge industry that has been around for quite some time and it will continue to grow, with expected growth rate of 5.5% from 2020 to 2025. With growth comes innovation and the companies within the fashion industry are seeking of ways to improve constantly. Fashion brands are interested in the development of the tech industry which leads to collaborations between the two. There is a great interest in AR and VR for example, and brands are already experimenting with the possibilities virtual and augmented experiences are offering. They are experimenting with many different concepts like digital fitting of accessories such as hats, shoes or jewellery. For example, WANNA KICKS is an app that allows people to virtually try on shoes to see how they fit, and decide whether to buy them or not. Moreover, there are solutions developed to improve online and in store shopping. Fashion shows are yet another opportunity for collaboration between tech and fashion.
Summa in the 4DR Studio
Brief history of fashion shows
In the end of 19th century and beginning of 20th the idea of presenting fashion collections on live models was born. Haute couture fashion designers would usually use actresses and dancers to show their clothes in their houses. They wouldn’t let photographers to attend in order to avoid leak of the designs.
Fashion weeks are a very important annual event that happens in fashion capitals around the world. The first one was in New York in 1943, followed by Florence in Italy in 1951. However, the Italian fashion capital was moved to Milan in 1958. After that Paris had its first fashion week in 1973 and lastly London in 1984.
“The new look” was created by Dior when the designer was one of the first ones to allow photographers at his shows. This changed the focus of fashion shows from clients to publicity.
During the 70’s ready-to-wear fashion took over the haute couture on the catwalk. During the next decade the British fashion brought a rebellious look to fashion shows, with Vivienne Westwood moving away from traditions.
The decade of the 90’s brought another revolution for fashion show – supermodels, like Cindy Crawford, which took the focus away from the designers. Moreover, it was not only the clothes that were important anymore, it was also about the models, the atmosphere, the setting and the location.
For this rather conservative industry technology has the biggest impact so far on its evolution. Starting from late 90’s with presenting collections online and embracing the Internet, the collaboration between fashion and tech continues until today.
The new generation fashion shows
Traditional fashion shows have been pretty much the same for a long time without bringing much innovation throughout the years. What really starts to change this though is the mixed-media industry. Accenture Nordics took part of Helsinki Fashion Week 2019 and showed one of the many possibilities for collaboration between fashion and technology. Seats are limited for fashion shows and with people wanting to attend them from all over the world it means that a lot of interested people will be disappointed. Also, the costs of fashion weeks, for example, are enormous. When tech meets fashion, the result is a catwalk show that is accessible for a big audience from all around the world.
With solutions such as volumetric video fashion shows can reach broader groups and pop up whenever viewers want and wherever viewers are. As mentioned, fashion shows attract many people, but it is not possible for everyone to attend. Firstly, big portion of attendees have to travel from different parts of the country or even from abroad in order to be there for the show. Secondly, the number of seats and tickets are limited and so many people cannot attend. Through the Internet it is possible to stream live and technologies like volumetric video allow people to view the shows as if they are there.
Supermodel Ashley Graham pictured in VR to show audience abroad the fashion show.
At the same time, volumetric video will save costs for people involved. From attendees not having to buy a ticket to get to the show, to designers saving money from location. With VR completely new worlds can be created where volumetric models can show off the newest collection. Instead of finding the perfect location or decoration why not create the perfect world in VR and let the models walk through it.
Also, it will reduce negative effects such as traffic problems and carbon footprint due to increase in travel, both observed during fashion weeks. If more people are joining the show online then green gas emissions will be less due to less travelling.
Our first step in the world of fashion: Graduation show for Summa Fashion College
During the last month we worked with Summa Fаshion College and fashion students to create a volumetric fashion show. Every year the college is hosting a show at the end of the school year where students can present their designs. However, this year’s show was cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
During this project we worked with the fashion students of the college to create a virtual fashion show in augmented reality with volumetric video. We filmed each outfit individually worn by a model or the designer in our studio. So, the students could have their graduation show but in a new and innovative way with our help. With short time to start, execute and finish the project, we gained a lot of valuable insights.
The pre-production was a challenge because the time for it was quite limited. Moreover, the outfits were already finished or in progress therefore alterations weren’t possible. Based on our experience and some quick tests we managed to get all outfits ready for the production.
During the production we were able to see how different fabrics and colours perform. Since we were not able to determine the designs before production days we had to experiment on the spot. Minor alternations to accessories and hairstyles were possible in order to have the best possible end result and in turned out better than expected.
Summa Model posing in real environment
The post-production went smooth. For us it was a good experience because we were able to see how different outfits perform in volumetric. We worked with different fabrics and colours and gained experience in editing them. Even though we had challenges we were able to find solutions and have the best possible outcome. If you are interested in reading about one of the challenges, we faced and what solution we found read our latest post about it here.
The AR app
All volumetric videos were put together into the Crafted AR app, created by Dutch Rose Media. That way the fashion students were able to have a fashion show but not in the traditional sense. Moreover, through an app a large audience is reached all around the world and anyone interested to see the graduation show can do it with a few clicks. The app is available both is the App Store and in Google Play.
It seems that companies, brands and designers within the fashion industry are paying attention to the tech developments and they are taking notes. With their long history, fashion shows have changed quite a bit since their debut more than a century ago. Starting from small closed door and in-store showroom, fashion shows evolved into multidimensional experience that is not only about the clothes anymore. In the new age of the industry technology gives many opportunities to make fashion shows more accessible for everyone and reduce the negative effects fashion weeks have on the environment. On the tech side companies can experiment with any kind of MR/VR/AR or 360-degree video and of course volumetric video. We as a tech company recently worked on a project together with fashion students to create an AR fashion show. We were able to see how different outfits, fabrics and colours perform in volumetric and gained useful knowledge and experience for further projects.