LFW Goes Tech in 2012


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Various
28 Tuesday 28th February 2012

To start, it seems fitting to mention the show which kicked off proceedings this year: Antoni and Alison’s 9am start on the opening day of LFW. The duo have been working together on couture and ready-to-wear for over twenty years now, and have that definite art school edge to their work.

Fittingly, they presented a collection (hilariously entitled ‘Models Walking Up and Down in Dresses’) that reeked of Central St Martin’s through and through. Painterly prints and a thoroughly postmodern approach to the show were facilitated by the screen printing and image projections that they say were pivotal to the show. According to the couple, this line was pretty much one they’d been wanting to make since their time at St Martin’s in the nineties, stating “it’s only technology that has allowed us to make them now” before the show began.

Following on from the integration of new technology into design at last week’s shows, Richard Nicholls announced the production of a bag that would have most on-the-go creative types singing his praises. It was, of course, a rechargeable handbag for smartphone users out and about at shows all day. Made in collaboration with Vodafone, the white handbag (perhaps more skewed towards the feminine market, it’s got to be said) when fully charged itself can pump energy into iPhones, iPads, Androids and BlackBerry devices which potentially lasts for several days. A true dream-come-true for all the fashion girls who want to Instagram and live-tweet every moment as it happens, eh?

Live video streams of LFW shows are a growing staple, and were pushed furthest into mainstream knowledge by Burberry over the last few seasons. All those not lucky enough to score a ticket or front row seat to LFW were able to watch up to 44 shows online, as they happened, via the LFW video content site. (I would be lying if I didn’t say some of the keen fashion types at Don’t Panic weren’t sneaking a peek at the Burberry and Roksanda Ilincic collections every few seconds last week).

Backstage at Roksanda Ilincic

On a more interactive level, London Fashion Week took their Twitter account to new heights this year too. The British Fashion Council not only had a constant barrage of tweets flowing at all times, about everything from street style to updates on which shows were running late, but also enlisted the help of guest tweeters to chat direct to the LFW fans.

Alexa Chung, darling of London’s fashion scene, ran a live Q & A with tweeters, as long as they used the London Fashion Week hashtag and didn’t ask her something totally silly about the colour of her pants. Apps like Instagram were endorsed used by brands watching the shows to connect fans to the clothes on the catwalk.

Aurasma Lite, officially endorsed by LFW, worked in a similar fashion to a QR code: it let fashion lovers scan objects in real life at the shows and around Somerset House before opening up video content on their smartphones directly pertaining to the item recognised by Aurasma. Creepy as it sounds, it’s another route for embedding technology in a style-focused experience.

Did you hear about any other tech tidbits at LFW?

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