What if we all got front row seats?

With Autumn comes many things: the end of vacation, the start of a new school year, crisp mornings, and of course, the international juggernaut known as Fashion Week.  It’s hard to remember that once, Fashion Week was relatively unknown to the general public.  Indeed, it was an industry event relegated to buyers and magazine editors.  Now, in an era where designers are superstars and magazine editors are subjects of romans à clefs, blockbuster movies and documentaries, fashion week is as big as ever.

This year, it seems that social media and web 2.0 has allowed New York’s Fashion Week to spread even further to the masses—at the expense of potentially alienating a few buyers and editors!

According to a recent New York Times article, houses such as Gucci, Betsey Johnson and Alexander Wang will be streaming their shows for a worldwide audience.  Perhaps the most disruptive of all is Burberry, who will be not only be streaming their show online, but will also allow Internet users to order looks online as they see them.  This move has entailed an overhaul of the company’s manufacturing process—ensuring customers a radically faster merchandise delivery than the typical 4-6 months.

What’s more, I found out via @Ad_Chickadee on Twitter about Milk Made, a blog co-created by Mac cosmetics and Milk Studios.  At Milk Made, Fashion Week invitees are encouraged to play phone tag, uploading various photos from the shows, backstage and the after parties.  The pictures are great, they definitely capture the glamour, decadence and fast pace of the fashion crowd, I encourage everyone to check this out.
As much I love the technological innovation around Fashion Week, I do wonder whether luxury and high-fashion will end up being well served by this kind of exposure.  In my opinion, fashion week has become what it is thanks, quite frankly to elitism.  Will allowing the hoi polloi front row seats at Gucci (albeit, online seats) ruin the overall appeal of these shows?  Might we end up realizing that, at the end of the day, its just clothes?

Or maybe not… I leave you with the showstopping finale of “Unzipped”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRB901GOiKA[/youtube]

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