Eureka! One show does not a resounding success make, but the debut of the KCD-developed Digitalfashionshows.com is off to a beyond-promising start. It could work wonders in terms of alleviating the primary deficiencies of fashion week in New York: extreme overcrowding and, you fill in the adjective (bad-irresponsible-inconsiderate-counterproductive) about the nightmare of locations. A random four-hour block on Sunday featured shows at Lincoln Center, The Plaza, Milk Studios, Wollman Rink, the Park Avenue Armory, and in SoHo, Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square.
The debut, Prabal Gurung’s first collection for ICB, or International Concept Brand, revealed some tweaks to be worked out. The bells and whistles — the line lists, ability to take notes, etc. — are impressive, but most important is the viewer’s ability to grasp the overall essence of the collection and see each look clearly. On the first point — done. On the second, too many exits were introduced with descriptions; the first shot of every look should be full-length, the details following. The clarity was sharp to the point that zoom-shots relayed the nuance of fabrics and details. Perfect? No. But for the initial effort, it was fabulous both in reality and in the beacon of hope it offers to all of the working professionals frustrated with the impossible logistics of New York Fashion Week.
Will digital shows ever replace the thrill of the live, moment-in-time fashion show? Not when there’s a genuine in-person thrill to be had. But of the 280 or so shows on the calendar this season, probably well more than half could show via this platform without sacrificing a bit of their core message.
As for the actual clothes, which Barneys New York will sell exclusively for fall, Gurung seems to have a savvy grasp of the relationship between design, style and trend that’s desired at the contemporary level. He delivered a real look that balanced urban edge with moody femininity, and covered a lot of ground in the process. There was sharp tailoring and great outerwear, such as a molded bomber jacket and black leathers trimmed with fur. Kaleidoscope prints provided bold color on dresses and blouses. Some of the latter were buttoned up for severe effect, as were the selection of shirtdresses done with nice details, such as ombré lace and cutaway panels.