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Editor's pick technology

5 tech innovations we’re talking about from fashion week season

Balenciaga SS19

The latest fashion week season was marked by conversations on inclusivity, from celebrating diverse models at Ralph Lauren and Savage x Fenty, to industry experts openly criticizing the new era of Celine by Hedi Slimane for having 91% white models.

On top of that was a continued question mark around the validity of the see-now-buy-now business model, the ongoing impact of streetwear on the catwalk, and endless pop-up installations celebrating all things fashion.

And yet underlying this activity, though it may not have been obvious on the surface, was a tech-led narrative, with projections, hackers and immersive experiences all demonstrative of how fashion continues to push forward in the space.

Check out our round-up of the catwalk innovations to know…

LED Sculptures
Ralph Lauren’s 50th anniversary installation

Ralph Lauren celebrated the 50th-anniversary of his brand with a digitally-driven immersion. So-called LED sculptures, otherwise known as large scale digital displays, appeared under Central Park trees showcasing cuts from the designer’s most memorable collection reels. Campaign archive imagery as then projected across the walls of two T-shaped chambers that told the brand’s story through Lauren’s narration himself. The installation is now at the flagship store in NYC. An app launch was also part of the celebration: in addition to shopping, the platform gives consumers insider access and exclusive content.

Female Hackers
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

At London Fashion Week, footwear designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s show saw teenage hacker CyFi walk the runway alongside actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Set in an underground bunker, with flashing monitors and LED lights, their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity. His latest shoe collection was inspired by tech and cyber-reality, with details including graphic TV static–style print and constructions that looked like tangled computer wiring. The show also featured a hologram technology that showed the collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Robotic Debut
House of Honee featuring OhmniLabs robot

A robot debuted on the catwalk of London Fashion Week adorned in head to toe crystals. Part of the show of LA-based designer Honee, the telepresence machine was created in partnership with Silicon Valley-based OhmniLabs. Honee said the show “celebrates the human spirit via the robots”. Her vision was to marry fashion, culture and technology through the experience.

Massive Projections
Miu Miu using projectors for SS19

At Paris Fashion Week, Maison Margiela surprised guests with 12 enormous projections alongside the catwalk at the launch of its new fragrance, My Mutiny, the first to be released under John Galliano. The film showed a behind-the-scenes look at the campaign. Miu Miu also decided to use projections, with models’ faces featuring bold lips and vivid red streaked across their eyelids, placed onto bubble letters spelling out the brand’s logo. It was a way to complement the theme of the collection: “Deconstructing beauty”.

360-Degree Kaleidoscope
Balenciaga’s 360-Degree Kaleidoscope

If there was one show that stole the tech limelight this season however, it was Balenciaga. Taking immersion to the next level, the set saw a 360-degree kaleidoscopic tunnel designed to replicate the inner workings of a computer. Projectors cast multicolored lights onto the walls of the auditorium, which changed color and speed depending on both the model walking and the track playing. With set design by Jon Rafman, the idea was to draw influence from and attention to modern technology and digital media. The most controversial part of the show was actually on the clothes: Powerpoint Clip Art effects and Comic Sans adorned some of the prints. After turning ugly daddy sneakers into the hypest pair of shoes, Balenciaga is the right brand to end the ban of Comic Sans.

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.

Categories
Editor's pick technology

Teen hacker CyFi fronts Nicholas Kirkwood’s LFW debut

CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
CyFi for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Teenage hacker CyFi walked the runway at shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood’s first ever London Fashion Week show on September 16.

The 17-year-old US hacker, who was booked by Current Global to appear, was accompanied by actress and #MeToo activist, Rose McGowan. Their appearance was tied to an underlying political message from Kirkwood against conformity, with the topic of hacking seen throughout the show as both inspiration for the immersive experience and the shoe design itself.

The event began with McGowan as the leader of a resistance, surrounded by a stage environment crowded with screens and computers, so as to imply a dystopian future.

Rose McGowan for Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

Models (or the NK19 resistance rebels) strutted down the runway, mingling among the set while ‘hacking’ computers and playing with VR headsets. To add to the immersive undertone, the show culminated with the undercover police force (known as the Anti-Creative PoliZe Force) then directing showgoers to the Evidence Room where they could explore the collection from up close.

CyFi, who is one of the leading female hackers in the world, began her coding career at the age of 10. These days, she uses hacking to teach children how to protect themselves online. Most notably, she runs the yearly r00tz Asylum conference, a hacking and cybersecurity event held during DEF CON in Vegas, to help children practice cryptography and reverse-engineering, and learn more about tech security and privacy.

Current Global also booked a hologram technology for the Kirkwood show experience, which was on display on entering the warehouse venue in Central London. The collection’s main shoe, a boot with neon yellow detail, was showcased in 3D by UK company Hologrm.

Nicholas Kirkwood SS19
Nicholas Kirkwood SS19

How are you thinking about innovation? We’re all about helping you build innovative integrations and experiences. Current Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology, powered by a network of top startups. Get in touch to learn more.