There are many ways to view runway collections online – Fashion TV is perhaps pre-eminent.
YouTube also hosts FTV and other fashion shows.
Most fashion designer websites now allow you to view their current and previous fashion shows.
But these all in common are of the recorded show.
Gucci Connect allows you to see the entire show streamed live. You sign up and receive an Email invitation. When attending you become part of a virtual live audience and can see via web-cams everyone else who is watching too – from China, Mexico, Italy the list of countries goes on – a global affair indeed. You are also able to chat with your fellow virtual attendees too.
The show also integrates with Facebook and Twitter.
I received my Email invitation for the Women’s Fall Winter 2011 show in Milan hosted February 23. The Mens event was available to watch too.
You also get to see behind the scenes – the models having their hair and make up done, the audience milling about the arena prior to the show start. And you can see the Front Row too – I caught a glimpse of the unmistakeable Anna Wintour.
The show itself is streamed in multiple views – while the main view shows a model walking down the runway you can see another model on another part of the runway and yet another waiting to join the runway.
As well as the fashion show you can watch a range of related videos of other collections like their Home and Cruise ones and the making of some of the collections such as the Spring Summer 2011 main campaign.
And if you could not take it all in you are able to play back the live stream as many times as your heart desires.
Another exclusive treat is an interview with Gucci creative director Frida Giannini answering too some questions set to her by the virtual audience.
For most of us who do not have the money or the time to travel to the fashion runway shows in Milan Paris London New York and the like this is a convenient and pleasurable way to attend these globe-trotting fashion events.
I hope more fashion houses stream their shows live and I plan to attend as many of them as I can in this way – and if not able to view them live then instead to play them back later.