Thursday, 8 October 2009

Plato's Atlantis

Fashionista returns from Paris marvelling, as always, at the amazing talent of the designers showing there - especially our home grown icons such as Stella McCartney. And also at the ingenuity on display - the Alexander McQueen show on Tuesday night was available live online and accessible to all, not just the privileged few to have coveted tickets for the runway show. Given the drama of a McQueen show, viewing online cannot replicate the experience of actually being there but for the many who cannot be there but want to be at the cutting edge and know exactly what is being shown as it is shown, then this fits the bill. This category of trend watchers will include, undoubtedly, fashionistas but also, more worryingly, the copyists.

In a week when much has been made in the news of the first online broadcast of a football game, Fashionista finds the drama of a live online Paris runway show much more newsworthy. Will the time come when all designers show their collections in asceptic studios simply for online broadcast with the all powerful buyers making their choices from pick lists at remote locations? This might be cheaper and more time efficient but Fashionista hopes this does not happen as online viewing simply lacks the drama and atmosphere of being present at a runway show.
More seriously, however, Fashionista has been thinking about the copyright and design right issues arising from live broadcasts - first publication of designs will happen simultaneously in a number of jurisdictions. Where a show takes place in Paris or Milan or even our own London Fashion Week coupled with simultaneous broadcasting elsewhere there will still be first publication in the EU for design right purposes. But for US designers who show in New York this device may, if cleverly used, provide a way of securing European design right for otherwise unprotected designs. So, maybe technology is not all bad but Fashionista hopes that she will continue to get tickets to the live shows.