Brands are not the only ones physically opting out of Fashion Week in favor of digital presentations, Christina Binkley, the Wall Street Journal’s fashion and culture columnist, is, too. The celebrated journalist took to her Twitter (how fitting!) to announce that she will take in the shows online – like the majority of fashion show watchers. This afternoon she wrote: “It’s a brave new digital world out there, and brands boast that they’re reaching consumers in ways that can’t be fathomed from any row […] With live streams, 360- cameras, social media, brands beam images from backstage and the runway to viewers all over the world […] For this one-week experiment, I’ll see what it's like to be on the receiving end of all that.”
While former New York Times fashion critic, Cathy Horyn has famously watched the livestream version of Saint Laurent shows after being banned following her review of Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for the house, Binkley will be the first major journalist to take in an entire Fashion Week this way. But her "experiment" is not coming out of nowhere. In fact, it comes on the heels of major shakeups in the industry, particularly over the past several days but dating back a few seasons, which have seen designers opting out of the status quo fashion week format, in favor of alternatives.
Burberry announced that it will consolidate its four annual shows (two seasonal women’s shows and two seasonal men’s shows) into only two shows per year that feature “season-less” menswear and womenswear and which will be shoppable immediately afterwards, thereby aiming to fully capitalize on the press and fan furor associated with the runway shows. Misha Nonoo, who launched her eponymous label in New York in 2011, opted for an Instagram-only “show” last season, and decided to skip the February 2016 shows altogether, choosing, instead, to present her collection in September in order to close the 6-month window between runway and retail. Tom Ford, Thakoon, and Vetements have also announced plans to thwart the existing fashion show model. Why not journalists, too?