OUR TRENDING WEEK
THE FUTURE OF THE FASHION SHOW.
Today Instagram is the new channel, the new role. It's the biggest media in the fashion world. If you're not known in the industry, the only place to really launch is on the catwalk. Where else can you be in a room with the most influential people in the industry who can really elevate your career? The best editors are there. The buyers are there. The press is there. The social media is there. So when all these circumstances come together in the world's most stylish cities, the show must be designed for those front-row attendees struggling to get their phones out of their bags in time to film the "big moment".
Today, the show must be directed and designed for the technology that is available to the audience: the iPhone and Instagram video. The purpose of fashion shows is to help luxury brands communicate and continue to fuel the audience's dreams, but today, those dreams are housed and shared within a 15-second time frame. The set, the combinations of clothes, the look of the models, everything that gives a fashion show, must be done in an "Instagrammable" way, in a way that takes into account the audience's point of view, which matters more than the traditional media. The live experience for the guests is still important, but it is even more important how those guests can choose to represent the show in their own personal social media accounts, something that reaches out to every single corner of the world.
Italian luxury brand Prada has pledged to New York City to take action against racism following one of the brand's collections in 2018, which included a series of figures that many understood to be a caricature of the African-American population. New York City employees and Prada's managers in Milan, including Miuccia Prada, her husband and the brand's general manager, Patrizio Bertelli, will take a course on the equal treatment of minorities. After the controversy that formed in social networks, the products were withdrawn and the brand reported that the articles represented "imaginary creatures that did not pretend to have any reference to the real world and certainly not to 'blackface'.
At this point, we must reflect on how far the imagination should be limited. Isn't art a space for free expression? Shouldn't we detach ourselves from all meaning given by humanity to freely create and inspire? It is a delicate subject, but certainly something to think about.
In our current climate emergency, the world is constantly discussing ways to reduce our production of harmful materials. For example, China has recently proposed banning single-use plastic by 2022. Building supplies are responsible for 11% of global carbon emissions, and as the population grows, alternative resources need to be found. We should ask ourselves whether it is possible to revive raw materials by reducing dependence on contemporary materials with a huge carbon footprint and challenge conventional methods of large-scale construction, questioning what can be learned from traditional techniques to protect our future. As in fashion, in architecture there are also ways to build that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly. Your home is a reflection of your personality, your innermost self. If this trend were followed, residents would reconnect with the landscape, with the motherland, with what really matters.
As we move into 5G and the world becomes more urbanized, architects are increasingly offering a new way of living where natural elements are used, restoring our relationship with the earth. The modernisation of earthly architecture represents a call to establish an ecologically responsible building ethic and helps to open a path for the future of humanity.
Establishing a flourishing art scene while contributing to an international exchange of ideas, Saudi Arabia's recently launched and first Ministry of Culture has created a turning point in the nation's history. Since then, the MoC has unveiled an impressive array of annual projects, initiatives, grants, programs and residencies that actively sponsor the fields of science, literature and culture, attempting to rebuild and change the prospects of a nation whose economy is defined by oil reserves.
One of the first projects initiated by this program is an open call for writers, artists and curators. Al-Balad Art Residence is a six-week residency program in the UNESCO World Heritage Jeddah Historic District. Throughout the year, 42 artists - both Saudi Arabian and international - will develop new creative projects and take part in a wider cultural exchange. We couldn't be more excited to see what is coming from the Far East.
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