One of the stranger moments that happened during the New York Fashion Week that ended last Thursday was when, during the wait for a show to begin, I read an article in The New York Times that began with the headline, “How Smartphones Are Killing Off the Fashion Show.”
Naturally, I was reading this on a smartphone.
It’s true that modern technology has entirely upended the way we consume fashion, from access to information to the ability to purchase, and the runways are in the midst of major sea changes as a result. But I can’t imagine watching them without a phone in my hand. You mean, I’d actually have to make conversation with the people around me? For an entire month of shows? Seriously, let’s take a moment to praise our little gadgets and all they do for us. Why, just yesterday I learned how to affix dog features to my face while using Snapchat.
Our phones also give an unprecedented vantage on just about everything that happens at Fashion Week, since someone is likely documenting the shows somewhere. During this round, one new app I found to be extremely useful actually came from the producers of New York Fashion Week, called NYFW The Shows (free on iTunes and Google Play). Several of the runways could be seen through streams on the site (many of the shows and related look books are still available, too), which is critical for editors trying to see everything with today’s overcrowded calendar. Best of all, lots of new content that is still being added to the app gives a fairly broad view of what people outside the fashion bubble are most interested in looking at.
To start, I asked the app’s creators, WME/IMG, which also owns NYFW and is working with AGT (a data analytics company) to incorporate more interaction through technology at live events, to compile a list of the looks that were most liked by users of the app during Fashion Week. The top three picks included BCBG Max Azria (look 1), Marissa Webb (look 15) and Tommy Hilfiger (look 1; all from L-R below).
As an alternative measuring device, the app’s content creator, Vocativ, also counted Instagram likes to rank the top dresses of each day of Fashion Week. These included dresses by Jason Wu, Alexander Wang, and Jeremy Scott’s ultimately chart-topping “Ren and Stimpy” dress. While it’s not all entirely scientific (not all the shows are measured on any one site consistently), these scores do reflect a slice of the pop cultural resonance of Fashion Week.
Also fun: Geo-located buzzwords that were trending during the shows on social media. These included “TOTALLYCOOL,” “HAIR,” and both “SPRING” and “WINTER,” which suggests pretty much everyone is confused about what season we’re talking about right now. A trending colors feature, meanwhile, says an orange-ish shade of coral topped the New York collections, though I suspect that might not be entirely correct unless the app was measuring skin tones.
Anyway, according to WME/IMG, there’s more to come with the app. On Monday, supermodel Coco Rocha even chimed in with a post on her perspective that’s worth checking out.