This year, though, things looked rather bleak and for good reasons. There is the pandemic, of course, but there is also the economic slowdown that we’re going through.
In this regard, a digital, or rather a ‘phygital’ event makes more sense. But, it is not just the COVID pandemic that makes digital formats and fashion films more lucrative.
Here are 6 ways, that fashion films, and digital formats may be a blessing in disguise, and perhaps, just what the fashion industry in India needed:
1. A Step Towards The Future
Experts believe that digital formats and fashion films were in the pipeline, much before the pandemic hit.
Jaspreet Chandok, Head – Lifestyle Businesses, IMG Reliance, says, “We actually began our journey towards being a digital platform many years back so some of the actions were already in the works when the pandemic hit. We were the first in the world to Live Stream on OTT networks also creating innovations in social media actions and virtual reality.”
2. Convenience Of Serious Buyers
A phygital Fashion Week will allow serious fashion buyers to operate in a much more convenient way, as opposed to physical fashion weeks.
This is even more true for people who usually are unable to physically visit fashion weeks.
3. Better Reach
As crowded as physical fashion events may seem to be, their reach, obviously is very limited. This time around though, the organisers of the Lakme Fashion Week 2020 have some mind-boggling numbers in mind.
Jaspreet says, “Our reach today totals 50 million+ consistently across our channels. So, in our eyes, we had already democratised fashion even before the pandemic hit. With the first-ever digital edition of Lakmé Fashion Week, we are sure to cater to more audiences who could not be a part of the event on-ground. We are also expecting to attract a lot of buyers and consumers from across the globe.”
4. Better Medium And Better Narratives
Fashion films as a medium, allow designers to present their work in a far better way, both in terms of the ability to set a narrative that they want to, and to highlight certain details of their work.
Aneeth Arora, of Pero, says, “with the format moving to a film, the creative freedom is on us as to how we want to express our designs and our aesthetics. This definitely is one of the biggest advantages as now our work will be documented and can be accessed anytime around the world. We also have the ability to showcase the smallest of details which would fail the naked eye in a split second on stage.”
The only challenging part, Aneeth says, is fitting everything, one’s thoughts, as well as the clothes they have made, in a 10-minute film.
5. A More Professional Approach To Indian Fashion
People who have attended fashion shows how people sitting in the front row behave, watching the entire show through their phones. For most of the first-rowers, it’s all about an Instagram story. A digital fashion helps get rid of that and helps keep things professional and orderly.
Furthermore, a virtual platform makes it necessary for everything to be spot on – there is very little scope for errors. Lakshmi Rana, a model, says, “digital has a massive reach, there are more and more people watching us than in a live show. Hence, it is important for us to be as good if not better on camera. Nothing comes in our way of being serious and being professional, in that regard.”
6. Artisans, Sustainable Fashion, & Other Core Issues Get The Spot Light
Fashion films and digital platforms allow the designers to weave in some significant, core issues into the narrative, that otherwise wouldn’t have been difficult.
Take Manish Malhotra’s opening show for the Lakme Fashion Week 2020, for example. A significant portion of the presentation for his collection, Ruhaaniyat, was devoted to the artisans of the Mijwan Foundation, an organisation that facilitates employment opportunities for destitute women.
When it comes to sustainability, the main conversation in fashion weeks has been about using sustainable materials and fabrics, but not on sustainable practices.
Designers and manufacturers have the perfect opportunity to steer the conversation towards a more impactful direction.