Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When I saw via Twitter that Burberry was going to be the first brand ever to live stream its AW11 show from the advertising screens at Piccadilly Circus I immediately thought, what a brilliant idea. I know I'm always a bit sarcastic, but I've been genuinely enthused, as mentioned in the previous post, by the embracing of digital media at London Fashion Week. Burberry has been leading the way with this in the past few years as everyone knows - balancing on the right side of the line between gimmickry and real innovation.

So it was that yesterday I, in another first, voluntarily went to Piccadilly Circus. I had imagined that all the screens would be taken over for the live stream, but obviously I'm not a financial genius and I soon realised the cost of doing this would bankrupt England, never mind Burberry. What they had were three screens at the top: one with the Burberry logo, advertising the event, the middle one with the live stream and one on the right devoted to the sponsor, Glaceau Vitamin Water. The show was due to start at 4pm. When I arrived at about 3.45pm there wasn't much of a crowd, just a small gathering of what looked like fashion students on the steps under the statue of Eros.

As 4pm neared, more people arrived, most of whom seemed to be press and photographers covering the event. The countdown had begun, then it got to zero, then it went back up again to 4.23, then back down, then the middle screen started showing arrivals at the show venue, which although it was just down the road in Kensington Gardens, seemed a million miles away. The screen switched to a view of inside the tent and the show began. A few more technical glitches - the screen freezing, going off and coming back on again and we were witnessing the fu - no, the fut..glitch glitch, buffer buffer, the futtt, THE FUTURE!

We watched as silently the models went up and down the catwalk in '60s mod coats - lots of coats - which was apt, as it was freezing. Another first for a fashion show was that the further you stood back, the better view you got. A tourist came up to me and asked what was going on, and seemed fairly impressed, before going on to ask for directions. The show was interrupted by Transport for London information flashing across the screens for a moment, then the show flashed back on again. It was a bit like watching a space shuttle launch on television, where you're waiting with baited breath, hoping that nothing will go too catastrophically wrong. More coats, orange, blue - you might as well watch the video here because it was hard to see detail and I was too busy taking in everything else to compose anything approaching a review. The sound was of traffic and camera shutters until the familiar tones of a group of Hare Krishnas approached. Their arrival coincided with the finale, in which the models had transparent plastic capes over their outfits and snow softly fell down onto the catwalk.

Everyone in the crowd went ahhhhh at the snow and the Hare Krishnas watched the screen as they chanted. And THAT was a perfect London moment even Christopher Bailey couldn't have engineered.


Anonymous said...

"a perfect London moment", I like this expression. Waiting for more London moments!

If Jane said...

oh i had a smile ear to ear for this post!! and heheh love the fut glitch etc etc...hehehe

Milly said...

I was there too and it was bloody freezing! Not entirely sure it was worth my numb hands but definitely an interesting concept for the future.x

ChiccaStyle said...

Amazing photos!!!
Love, love , love London!

GlamorousGirl said...

come and check out my blog :)
follow me on: