High Heels and HMD: The New Runway Trend

Fashion is not something that immediately comes to our mind when thinking about Virtual Reality but to everyone’s surprise, the industry is no way behind when it comes to making a mark with this booming tech. High fashion brands and biggest designers have always enjoyed hosting exclusive events, from couture catwalk shows to extravagant parties. And naturally, most of it has been happening behind the closed doors for the privileged few. However, VR has decided to change this elite-only access. From luxury smart watches to virtual reality catwalks, major international fashion influencers and retail brands are adopting VR to increase their scope and profits.

Lately, a lot of examples have been cited regarding the involvement of fashion industry in VR. The most famous ones included autumn 2015 show from Rebecca Mink off which was filmed for VR, viewable via the Google Cardboard headset; Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia, meanwhile, created a 360° experience in partnership with VR agency You Visit. The film provided never-before-permitted access to the runway as well as global exposure for fledgling designers. However, India was never a part of this picture. But now, the times have changed and we are no way behind the global brands.

Designer and Bollywood stylist Manish Malhotra is all set to transform the runway experience with a Virtual Reality show in which, well, you are where the action is! Manish Malhotra teamed up with Etihad Airways to showcase his latest collection at the recent Lakme Fashion Week. His opening night show, ‘Etihad Airways Presents Manish Malhotra’, was shot in virtual reality allowing viewers to feel the excitement of being present at the show, whether backstage, front row or at the post-show party.

According to the reports, the designer was not planning to do a show at the Winter Festive season of Lakme Fashion Week 2016 because of too many wedding orders, but Etihad Airways came on board with something completely unique and new. For the first ever time, a fashion show was shot for virtual reality and the final output would ensure that whoever uses the virtual reality video later would get the same view and feel as the front row audience. Prior to the show, Manish said, “We are looking at 50 womenswear and 20 menswear looks. We will have a four camera set up, which will shoot in virtual reality. The show will then be released through Etihad globally so that when people see the show they feel like they are a part of it.”

Another interesting part is that It comes just months after Etihad Airways used the pioneering technology to give viewers unprecedented access to the airline’s award-winning Airbus A380 by immersing them in the aircraft cabins in a virtual reality film ‘Reimagine’ featuring Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman.

Well, the only problem now is that VR headsets, although technically dashing, are not known for their supermodel looks. But this too is changing, as Dior unveiled its own make-up-orientated headset, “Dior Eyes”. So, what’s the wait now? Get ready to be transported to a virtual world for a simulated, fully-immersive experience as fashion embraces technology.

Binda Shah

SpectraVR is a virtual reality media production and technology startup, the first in this space in India, founded by a highly experienced team of media and technology experts.

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