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The art of turning a fashion week into an 'online moment'

From iPhone films to Twitch showcase, the ongoing London Fashion Week has deftly traded catwalks for online innovation

Burberry's fall/winter 2021 collection for London Fashion Week was broadcast virtually from the iconic 121 Regent Street store, a location once known for displaying exhibitions dedicated to arts and crafts. (Burberry)

No audience? No problem. London Fashion week has gone ahead entirely online under coronavirus restrictions with designers like Burberry and Roksanda innovating to reach fashionistas in lockdown.

Showcasing its first menswear-only collection under the leadership of artistic director Riccardo Tisci, Burberry on Monday streamed its fashion show simultaneously on its website, Instagram and Twitch, a platform popular with gamers.

Twitch has appealed to the fashion world because it allows a close-up and immersive experience for audiences and broadcasts their reactions in real time.

Burberry opted to use Twitch at last September's fashion week, the first time a fashion brand used the platform. The show had the look of a video art installation and was filmed in the middle of a forest. The footage has been viewed 118 million times.

To present its Autumn/Winter collection in 2021, models paraded through Burberry's flagship store in Regent's Street in the heart of London. As with September, Tisci was inspired by the draw of the natural world during the pandemic.

"For my first Burberry menswear-focused collection, I wanted to celebrate the freedom of expression. Enclosed indoors, I dreamt of the outdoors and its beauty," he said.

Burberry classics like its trenchcoat were revisited with a modern twist and the fashions on display used autumn colours of grey, beige, brown and burgundy, brightened by touches of blue.

The company, founded in 1856, has been given a new lease of life since the 2018 arrival of Italian designer Tisci, Givenchy's former creative director, whose street-wear collections have appealed to younger audiences.

The show by London-based Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic and her eponymous Roksanda brand was shot on an iPhone at the country home of Oscar-winning British actress Vanessa Redgrave.

In the video, the 84-year-old actress recited a Shakespearean sonnet about the importance of family ties and modelled the Roksanda designs with her daughter Joely Richardson and granddaughter Daisy Bevany.

The three generations showcased the Serbian designer's oversized dressed in bright colours and flowing silk.

"I'm just trying to find a way of bringing a certain positivity, passion, and beauty to the world," Roksanda said before her vibrant creations were projected on several London buildings including the Old Vic Theatre.

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