At Topshop we think just like stylish goodies, Fashion Week shouldn’t just be reserved for the mag editors and fashion-loving celebs. That’s why this season we opened up the mezzanine of our Tate Modern show space to the public and live streamed the action to five lucky winners at our flagship store. But this wasn’t just any old live stream – we teamed up with tech guru Inition to allow our winners to watch the show in virtual reality!
Intion is a small, cutting-edge company based in London’s Shoreditch, who use their incredible tech savvy to create experiences like no other. Among the many cool projects they’ve dreamed up is a virtual game that allows people to ‘fly’ through mountains and cities, as well as shooting the first ever 3D footage in the wild for the BBC. We caught up with the Inition boys in the aftermath of Fashion Week for a virtual chat (naturally!) about the show.
How was it partnering up with Topshop?
It was great! It was a tough project but there was a great sense of adventure as we were creating something that no-one had done before. In many ways Topshop are ideal Inition client: they have great content, and were willing to take the risk to do something ground-breaking and paradigm shifting.
Were you happy with the reaction?
The coverage actually surpassed our expectations. The reaction of participants instore was brilliant and the crowds forming outside the Topshop store was remarkable to see. The public reaction to the piece was great and the technology community has been overwhelming – it’s raised the bar for future use of technology at Fashion Week.
Do you think fashion and technology make a good match?
There are some very clear overlaps. Wearable technology such as Google glasses and Apple’s planned iWatch are some obvious examples. When technology becomes invisible and seamlessly integrated into our clothing, that’s when things like wearable displays really take off.
How does London inspire your work?
Every time we leave the office and wander around, there is a new installation, street artwork, exhibition or just an unusual sight that can spark the imagination. Places like the Barbican, Tate, ICA have amazing events programmes that bring together creatives from all over the world. Here in Shoreditch there is a constant feeling of change that keeps things fresh.
What’s the future for Inition?
We’re very excited about virtual reality hitting the mainstream. Virtual reality is the ultimate interface to the digital world, with the ability to take you anywhere, any time, any place. We can build fantastical imaginary worlds or put you in remote places that make you feel like you are actually there. The possibilities are almost overwhelming as they are endless. If you can imagine it, then someone will be able to build it!
We also wanted to hear from the girls who experienced our virtual reality show first-hand. Hayley, Maria, Natasha, Sarah and Joanne were the five lucky fans who won a seat on the virtual front row, by sharing their London Fashion Week style through Instagram and Twitter. We spoke to three of the girls over Popchips and Zico water to see how they found it.
Hi girls! One word to sum up your virtual reality experience?
Hayley: I’d say surreal too.
What were the most exciting bits?
Hayley: Trying to explain the experience is so hard because it felt so real! You would turn and see the people next to you and the people in front. I could even make out Kate Moss and Kendall Jenner sitting a few seats away from me in the front row! It honestly felt like you were really there.
What did you think of the custom made headsets?
Natasha: They were really cool – I felt like I was in Tron!
Joanne: As soon as the show started I completely forget they were on my head because I was so into the experience.
Any favourite looks from the show?
Natasha: The grey knee-high suede boots that Charlotte Wiggins wore.
Joanne: My favourite was the long fur gilet and grey jumper with a crisp white shirt underneath.
Best celebrities at the show?
Hayley: I adore Kendall Jenner, and was so excited to know she was there. My favourite blogger Danielle Bernstein was there too and I’m such a massive fan of hers and was so excited to know I was there watching it ‘with’ her.
Do you think more people should get to come to Fashion Week?
Natasha: Tickets are hard to come by, but Fashion Week is becoming more and more democratised. I know some people think this is a bad thing, but fashion should be available to all – and developments like the virtual reality mean that more people will get the chance to get that front row feeling.