Best In Show

01 July 2020

Picture the scene: gilt chairs, aristocrats, perhaps the odd reviewer with a notebook. Once upon a time, the fashion show was a sedate affair, happening behind closed doors and attended by a chosen few.

That is old news. In 2018, a fashion show is an event. I have covered the shows for a decade now, and can safely say we're almost in rock-concert territory, with the glamour turned up to 11. At a Chanel or Balmain show, say, you'll see the street outside swarming with street-style photographers clambering to get a picture of whatever influencer is currently in favour, the celebrities sitting front row next to sunglasses-wearing editors and, of course, the clothes worn by models on the catwalk.

But who wants to fight their way through the crowds to see what it's all about? With the shows this season, it's far better to enjoy the spectacle – and get the skinny on what to wear come winter – from the comfort of home. That's possible thanks to fashion insiders embracing technology, with social media allowing you to watch all the shows you want as if from the front row. I might even suggest remote reviewing the shows from my sofa next season. With every aspect of a show now just a click away, the idea doesn't sound particularly outlandish.

For the influencer point of view, it's best to follow the avant-garde take on fashion. Susie Lau's Stylebubble is essential, or Vogue's fashion critic, Anders Christian Madsen. For the more look-at-my-outfit type, Doina Ciobanu or The Blonde Salad's Chiara Ferragni will do well. For the backstage view, try the Insta girls Gigi and Bella Hadid, as well as the models who walk in multiple shows – perhaps Binx Walton or Jourdan Dunn.

Of course, you'll want to have an instant view on the clothes, too. Burberry was very early on the trend for livestreaming, starting in 2010. Now other brands are on board too, bringing the show experience way beyond just those watching IRL. Versace, Michael Kors and Gucci all livestream. Topshop's show – always great for people watching, Kate and Lila Moss sat front row last season – is now a highlight, mainly because once the clothes hit the catwalk they're also available to buy. Instant gratification without having to leave the house? Yes, please.

Lauren Cochrane has held staff positions at i-D, and is a fashion writer for The Guardian.

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