Published on February 20, 2013 | by Millie Cotton


Smartphones and social media make LFW a tough task

Millie Cotton

ALN Managing Editor Millie Cotton [Image:Jon Durr]

Another London Fashion Week has flashed by before my eyes and every angle of the event was captured on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram – and new player on the social media scene Vine – instantly for anyone who was interested.

Rewind to the days when LFW was a very different affair: before we sent our every thought out into the realms of the web, when we captured a photograph on an actual camera – not an iPhone – without using our Instagram filter to make every picture that little bit more flattering.

Collections were exclusive and only seen by the select few that designers allowed to preview their creations.

These garments would slowly filter through to magazines to be used in fashion editorial spreads, offering fashion fanatics the first glimpse of the new season’s trends a couple of months before lines dropped in stores.

Back to the present day and what was once strictly embargoed has now become something of a competition as to which designer can get the most instant coverage.

Most shows are live-streamed via the internet for fans to watch and the ones which aren’t will have someone ready to photograph and live-tweet the looks as soon as they hit the catwalk.

Under pressure

The evolution of the internet and smart phones has led to publications coming under pressure as never before.

Editors must join the scrum of paparazzi to nab a shot of whichever starlets line the front row – and heaven forbid them having the time to take notes during shows for their reports.

They are far too busy snapping the first look and trying to upload it to their Twitter accounts.

Reviews are expected to surface online within only a couple of hours after a designer has shown his or her collection with professionally edited photos attached.

Bear in mind that there are up to 15 shows a day and a publication’s editor will be attending a different show hourly with a half-hour waiting for a show to start, followed by a 12-minute show and then 15 minutes to rush on to the next venue where the sequence is repeated.

It would be wrong to say that the internet era has been detrimental to the fashion industry – in fact it has been quite the opposite by creating a blogosphere which allows designers to go viral with little PR on their part.

But the fast pace challenges those attending London Fashion Week to keep up at an exhausting rate and is fundamentally changing the way that the event is reported.


Millie Cotton



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