Through the lens of a vertical iPhone, models strutted down the runway at Fashion Community Week. With poor reception, viewers may not catch the intimacy of the show; at the very worst, models may blur into pixelated blobs.
Fashion Community Week, San Francisco’s analogue to New York Fashion Week, presented a diverse selection of up-and-coming designers and brands. The hybrid event also featured a fashion technology conference alongside a “New Experience” virtual fashion show.
Behind a techno beat, the “New Experience” kicked off with designs from Emilie Marcelle. Marcelle’s looks were characterized by modest hems and a neutral palette. The head-turner of the lookbook featured a white silk textured high-neck dress with slits at the thigh encompassed by a long-flowing beige belt. A companion dress also stunned amongst the rest — the silk slip with horizontal mesh cuts and an asymmetrical hem proved heavenly.
Following Marcelle, Muriels served San Francisco tech company business casual. Looks featured cable-knit sweaters to cover bold printed skirts. The crafty knitwork was apparent, each sweater looking softer than the last. Jumping from Marcelle’s lookbook to Muriels, the diversification of chosen brands was noteworthy — not one design between brands looked alike.
Kudsedia was up next, elevating the going-out lookbook with a more sophisticated style. Minidresses and cropped, textured two-piece sets distinguished Kudsedia as the most youthful and most fun.
In a slower change of pace, brand Dokke showed off its lookbook behind a funky beat and softer vocals. Dokke gave a modern twist on mature brands such as Ann Taylor and Talbots. KTR Collection followed, with vibrant, neon sundresses and gowns. KTR Collection closed out the 11-minute stream, dazzling onlookers with its youthful cut-outs that still managed to present polished and sophisticated dressmaking.
While “support” for brands can often refer to social media promotion or event awareness, Fashion Community Week practices what it preaches. The not-for-profit organization offers bi-annual platforms to support the fashion, beauty and technology industries. Eager viewers who watched the virtual fashion show were also given the opportunity to purchase their favorite pieces on the organization’s website.
To smaller designers, a large platform such as Fashion Community Week can direct a change of pace, and monetary support goes even further. With this promise, Fashion Community Week’s diligent strive for brand visibility and awareness is admirable.
The other hybrid event, Fashion Tech Conference, invited speakers from all over the globe who represented five companies interested in fashion technology. Despite its specific and perhaps dull scope, the 45-minute stream touched upon compelling subjects. The time passed quickly as viewers got a glimpse into the future of fashion technology, such as the role of artificial intelligence. There was also, of course, peace of mind in knowing that companies are working to fix pervasive issues in the industry in efforts to promote sustainability.
Alongside Bold Metrics, the livestream hosted speakers from Heuritech, Yoona.ai, Wearable X and Atelier no. 9. As each speaker fielded questions, it became apparent that technology is playing an essential role in transforming the fashion industry to be more diverse, accessible and sustainable.
Fashion Community Week’s dedication to bringing awareness to up-and-coming designers and brands shone in its hybrid events. Virtual fashion shows, without a doubt, require proper technology, and Fashion Community Week’s attempt at a virtual fashion show gives its best shot. While there’s no Givenchy and it’s no Paris Fashion Week, Fashion Community Week radiated the same passion for fashion with homegrown charm.
Kaitlin Clapinski covers fashion. Contact her at [email protected].