So how will fashion week adapt in the future? “The catwalk will naturally become more digitised and the focus will shift to our engagement with the collections,” explains Rachael. “Developments in 5G-enhanced AR [augmented reality] technology mean we’ll be able to interact with shows/collections remotely, viewing and touching individual garments without having to physically be in the same room as them. Haptic gloves, for instance, will give you sensory feedback on the handle and weight of a dress or beaded jacket, from virtually anywhere in the world.
What’s more, paths to purchase could change – after touching the jacket, you could buy and download it to your digital avatar, or create a wearable hologram as an augmented overlay. Designers are no longer restricted to seasons or industry demands and it becomes an ongoing creative process between them and the customer,” says Rachael.
As the fashion industry races to align itself with these technological advancements and respond to ever-growing demands to reduce its environmental impact, the opportunities to revamp the conventional fashion week model are only going to get bigger. As Sarah Arnold from Extinction Rebellion told Dazed Digital: “We don’t think this is the end of fashion – more an opportunity to creatively transform it into something regenerative for society and nature.” Hear, hear.