I Attended My First Virtual Fashion Show And It Was Very Different. It’s Not Bad But Nothing Beats The Real Experience.
Last time I attended a fashion show, it was a big production affair. The ramp was embellished with larger-than life stage installations and hundreds of models walking the ramp for dozens of designers in a day. It was a jam-packed day which mostly consisted of me jumping from one show to another without catching a breath. You guessed it right. It was right before the coronavirus wreaked havoc in our lives and a global pandemic was announced. Ah, the good ol’ times.
Anyway, this year, I thought there’d be no fashion shows at all, but thankfully designers managed to find a way to showcase their collections, only this time it is all virtual. Yesterday, one of the leading designers of the fashion industry, Tarun Tahiliani presented his first virtual fashion show on Instagram Live. It was probably the first time, and hopefully the last, that we got to watch the splendid collection of the ace couturier from the comfort of our homes.
I love the fact that Covid is not deterring designers from bringing out their fabulous work. The fact that they are hosting virtual shows to ensure safety is interesting. Talking about how it was different than the real physical show, here are 5 ways I found the virtual fashion show different that the physical runway. Take it from me, we want the physical fashion shows back ASAP.
Also Read: Tarun Tahiliani Is Presenting His First-Ever Digital Fashion Show On An Instagram Live Today. Is This The Future Of Fashion?
1. No seating squabble
Let’s start with the things I liked. It was a no-fuss show. As soon as I got the notification of the live, I joined in. There was a countdown of a minute for others to join in. It was not a big scene. Just the ramp and some music. And, just like that the models started walking in as the one-minute timer stopped. Normally it takes (so much) longer than that. You have to stand in a queue with your entry pass, find your seat, wait for others to settle in, then watch the sponsors’ ad. I missed the designer’s film though which tells the story and inspiration behind the new collection. Once the show is over, you have to rush out and it easily takes about 40-45 minutes but here we got done in 20 minutes stat.
2. Audience interaction
This is something you don’t get in a physical show. As the show was open to all, some 1.2k people were watching the live including some fashion biggies like designer Varun Bahl, Vogue’s fashion director Anaita Shroff Adajania and Cosmo Editor Nandini Bhalla in virtual attendance who were dropping in their comments for the pieces they liked. I am sure that’s not exactly the first-row envisioned what being fashion forward meant but the audience engaging and dropping in praises never happens in a physical show.
3. Runway creativity MIA
I have attended my fair share of fashion shows in a few years of my career and one thing I always get really excited for is to see the creativity on the ramp. There are shows with themed ramps, creative installations, live music or dance and even props that the models use to make the show so, so interesting. It’s so much fun. But there’s no point of using props and installation in a virtual fashion show when you are watching the show on a 6-inch screen.
4. The collection
The collection was named ‘Pieces of You’ which was actually inspired by the designer’s whole life’s work. While the designs were regal and exquisite, obviously, it was sometimes difficult to make out the intricacy of the design, fabric and texture used (given the quality of the live) and how exactly it was draped since most model didn’t turn back, which was frustrating. I mean, don’t blame me but as a fashion writer, I wanted to see the whole outfits up and close and clear and the live feature doesn’t even let you zoom in. Agh!
5. Front row FOMO
I missed the physical fashion show for one very selfish reason and that was I didn’t get to sit on the front row seats. Plus, the interaction with fellow media peeps, designers and fashion lovers is always something I look forward to in the fashion show which obviously I missed yesterday at the Tarun Tahiliani’s virtual show. But on the bright side, I didn’t have to take notes in my notepad in the dark so that’s good.
Now, if you ask me, the experience wasn’t bad at all, (considering I got to watch it with my mom who was screenshot-ing the looks she loved) but it was not the same at all. Was it better than the physical runway? Not even the slightest!
Nothing can beat the real experience of seeing the models strutting down the catwalk showcasing the gorgeous collection in well-coordinated choreography. It’s truly an experience.
Here’s hoping the global pandemic doesn’t kill the physical fashion shows and next season’s fashion week is bigger and better.