New Digital Fashion: Waist-Up Clothing Designs For Video Calls

Fashion labels are designing outfits for video calls during the coronavirus pandemic. The emergence of the fashion trend is inspired by the "contemporary human relationship with technology."


The fashion industry is reckoning with itself at every level, this time the reckoning revolves around the ongoing pandemic and the impact it has had on the industry. Technology, the great moderniser, has created a silver lining between the fashion world and the world of digitisation.

Faced with the necessity of translating fashion to a digital format, Prada the fashion house recently experimented with an online fashion show. The feedback had seismic implications, showing that as Covid hit the industry, it came in par with a dire need to scale up and harness innovation within the sector. Thus, a new format has been born. The format is colloquially known as digital fashion.

A “waist-up” focus has been noticed at both Milan and London Fashion Weeks, with detailed necklines and relaxed trousers. Prada placed its logo near the collars of its tops, and featured large coats pulled around shoulders like a blanket.

“Fashion is about reacting to reality,” said Miuccia Prada, head designer of Prada, at its virtual Milan fashion show. “During lockdown, I realised how important technology is and how it is impactful for us, and in some ways, an extension of ourselves.”

The tunic tops and roll necks, with the brand’s famous triangle logo blown up and placed directly below the neckline, will certainly catch the eye of other online call attendees.

This year has established how important waist up dressing is, hence a reason why the fashion industry’s heavy hitters are all vying for a chunk of market share in this segment. Having spent a lot of time on video conference calls, the top half of our outfit has become significantly more important than the bottom half.

Luxury fashion sales worldwide are forecast to fall by around 35% this year, due to shops closing and lockdown, analysis by the Boston Consulting Group suggested. Not pretty figures for the fashion industry, but to survive in such unprecedented times, the buzzword adapt or die must be taken literally.

But fashion is reflecting history and the economy through these clothing trends, said Lynne Coleman, textile expert. “Designers are thinking about how we are living our lives. That’s why you see logos appearing in places you haven’t seen before,” she added.

“We’ve been stuck inside for so long now and we want to express ourselves.” Fashion critics  noted, adding that jewellery has increased in popularity, while sales of handbags and shoes are down.

People still want to appear professional when working from home. With a professional look geared towards being casual and relaxed. At Milan Fashion Week, designers also seemed influenced by remote working, with a trend for flatter shoes with a small heel, elasticated trousers, matching silk sets and pyjamas.


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