READING: Technology is Upending the Fashion Game
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When fashionista personalities meet, they no longer swoop in to exchange air kisses. Instead, they shoot KiraKira sparkle enhanced videos of each other to show off their enviable lifestyles – as Nicole Warne of Gary Pepper Girl fame and American fashion designer Jason Wu did when they were both in town for the recent Singapore Fashion Week (SFW).

Clearly, technology is impacting the way the fashion industry interacts and engages with the rest of the world, but how exactly? At Zipcode, a series of fashion technology talks organised by SFW, the two powerhouses met to discuss the most pertinent ways the digital revolution is impacting the world of fashion, and how we should respond to these changes: Make it a point to keep your professional and private lives separate.

Social media makes it easy to overshare, but do think twice before posting about everything including your kitchen sink on your Instagram feed. “My feed is largely about the label and its aesthetic. I see it as an important page to educate people about what we do,” says Wu (@jasonwu).

He does allow himself a little more leeway to goof off on Instagram’s Stories feature, where posts disappear after 24 hours. Other fashion personalities who use Stories to great effect include Eva Chen (@evachen212), Instagram’s director of fashion partnerships, who offers insights into her not-so-glamorous other life as a mother of two young kids and the hilariously unfiltered Diet Prada (@diet_prada) who call out both the bricks and bouquets that fans and detractors leave in their comments.

Warne (@garypeppergirl) agrees with Wu, saying, “Photos live on a feed forever so there is a need to be more composed. But because it is very curated, some personality is lost. In contrast, my Stories updates are very candid.”

If you’re still having trouble figuring out where to draw the line, think of your Instagram feed as a “visual resume”, suggests Wu. “It is almost our business card.” Sound advice even for those not in the business of fashion.

Protect your social privacy

While there is a need to appear approachable and authentic online, be sure to safeguard your own privacy, too. While Warne is more than happy to put up behind-the-scenes posts of her shoots and public appearances, she says her family and high school friends are “sacred”. “I never share content that is taken inside my house as it is my safe haven,” she adds.

As for Wu, his Stories could very well belong to a food blogger, as he frequently posts about his meals when he travels, he says with a laugh.

Virtual reality is the next big thing

The ever more “complete” experience is why the fashion world is eagerly anticipating the widespread adoption of virtual reality (VR). For instance, publishing giant Conde Nast partnered with Google in August to create a virtual reality video series that offered viewers a 360-degree peek into the wardrobes of supermodels including Kendall Jenner and Cindy Crawford.

Expect more of such immersive viewings to be launched soon – Wu says he is working on a VR project as well. “It really tricks your senses and is something most people haven’t experienced yet,” he says.

Warne is placing her bets on this technology, too. She says, “It is early days but once the technology becomes more affordable, VR will be very fun to experiment with.”

Technology is making fashion less boring

Let’s face it, a string of models parading down a white runway is not necessarily entertaining enough for everyone. But technological innovations such as live feeds as well as candid posts of the lead-up to the show make it more “experience driven” and in turn captures the attention of more viewers. “Technology allows a wider audience to enjoy the anticipation before the show and watch it at the same time as others,” says Wu. “It is not the same as being there, but it is pretty incredible.”


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