With press days for this coming season drawing to close it has been interesting to see the effects that social media developments have had on the fashion industry. Acting like an expose on what is going on behind the scenes, social media sites, especially Twitter and Instagram, have allowed everyone to feel like they have had the chance to see what is going on.
Where once the press days were limited to journalists and editors looking to catch a glimpse of what designers had in store for the coming season and therefore allowing them to pull in samples for upcoming shoots, this has since expanded. With the rise of blogging it has become ever more important for PR companies to invite bloggers along to press days and events, their up to date and constant stream of information to the public has expanded coverage and brought the fashion industry outside of the tight realms of magazines and newspapers that are limited by time constraints and conformities.
But social media has allowed this to be taken further, if you attend a press event you will be sure to see almost everyone with their phones out taking pictures or tweeting. With the advancements of technology, we are now able to keep even more up to date with what is going on, especially in the world of fashion. Live tweeting events is common practise and with the success of Instagram it is now possible to actually see what everyone is looking at without having to visualise it for yourself or even attend.
But is this move for the good or bad? It's hard to tell. On the one hand is refreshing to be able to take a look into an industry most of us pour so much money into. But on the other is it beginning to take away from the glamour and mystery that once was the fashion industry? Back in the days of the debutantes, people who were part of this culture worried that by letting anyone in it was jeopardising everything that the debutantes stood for. As Princess Margret once said "We had to put a stop to it. Every tart in London was getting in." Her crude words may be slightly extreme in this context but the concept still stands.
Letting everyone have an inside look works well for the PRs, extra exposure from any angle is good for their brand, but will anything be left with any air of mystery? Is it vital that we know everything there is about fashion before it even hits the shops?
When attending press days you expect that photos are perhaps frowned upon, designer after all is supposed to hold an air of exclusivity. But apparently not, on a visit to a press day for one of world's leading designers, photography was enthusiastically encouraged. "Take as many pictures as you like, the more the better." the PR said.
Designer clothing has always been a world out of reach to your average shopper, but being able to see behind these walls with tweeted photos from press days, makes anything feel possible, perhaps I could afford that Chanel bag? But realistically this isn't true and the world that is being created is one still very much out of reach. We may be inundated with designer collaborations with the high street but the real deal is far from our grasps.
One of the only press days to stop live tweeting taking place was Asos', for which an embargo was put in place for any images that were taken. With the high street and online's quick turn over of fashion maybe this is what makes the most sense. With so much coverage of what we will eventually be able to have, the fun of shopping is perhaps being taken away from us. We now hit the high street knowing what we will find and the thrill of the hunt is no longer part of shopping.
It'll be interesting to see where social media takes fashion, a live commentary of fashion events is already available so what next? I guess we'll just have to keep our eyes on twitter to find out.
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