While the world is struggling with a health pandemic, an economic depression, and a global social justice movement, Bill Cunningham’s quote –“Fashion is the armour to survive the reality of everyday life.” became the inspiration to fashion and design fraternity. From adjusting to the new normal to navigating through it and bringing creativity to reality, the Fashion Industry has set trends yet again.
In the modern world, creativity has never been just about classroom learning. Now, with the Anything Anywhere approach of the digital world, fashion design learning has stepped into a transformative revolution.
When FHCM’s couture week 2020 went digital, the fashion industry was in awe. However, with Gucci partnering with the art auction house Christie’s on NFT video “ARIA”, the industry realised that we had just scratched the surface of technology.
Pedagogical Changes In E-learning
Fashion design institutes have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to innovate old-fashioned teaching methods and adapt to the fast-moving digital world. Being a student-centric process enables the learner to customise the procedures and processes based on her needs.
With digital platforms for aspiring designers to learn and show their creations in a web-friendly format and accelerated personalisation in digital tools to customise one’s virtual studio, it has never been a better time to flow along with creativity.
The importance of exploring global perspectives through international fashion shows, exhibitions, webinars that reflect the global context in fashion education and industry cannot be emphasised enough.
ARCH College of Design & Business has been quick on the uptake and started organising Virtual Open Day in 2020. On Facebook Live students presented their work which was chaired by Spanish designer Rocio Martin Ruiz-Jarabo.
During lockdown ARTSTEPS, a digital platform was launched for the students to showcase their learnings. A short movie on ARCH’s idea of “25 feet garment” was presented at the Responsible Fashion series in Antwerp, Belgium, which earned worldwide acclamation.
To deny the importance of physical touch in the field of fashion is a fool’s paradise.
Even if we were in a digital utopia with digital equity and no technical glitches, to imagine learning fashion design virtually is difficult. From the touch of the fabric to the aesthetics and design, physical interaction is as essential as the field itself. Paris Fashion Week’s physical return to the runway, including industry heavy weights from Chanel and Hermes to Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent, proves that fashion cannot survive without it being inferred by the senses.
Where to go from here?
Rethinking decades-old teaching models requires a more finely tuned equilibrium between physical and digital education to work successfully. Combining face-to-face lectures with technology may give rise to blended learning, increasing students’ learning potential. Need of the hour is for institutes to become omnichannel and build an efficient e-learning model and for the fashion fraternity to come together as a community and use technology as a venue for Sustainable Fashion Culture.