Aspiring designers can learn and show their creations in a web-friendly format
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 the 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. FHCM stands for Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode that brings together fashion brands that foster creation and international development. 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. 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. The design education colleges have been quick on the uptake and started organising virtual events and platform during the lockdown in 2020 where they allow the students to showcase their learnings and creations. These institutes also use social media platform like Facebook Live where students presented their work online.
The field of technology is growing every day and therefore, it is impacting education, teaching and learning processes with its innovative solutions and sustainable methods. Increasing use of technologies like AI, IoT and AoIT is helping effectively in saving costs, time and energy in the education sector especially the creative fields. In 2020, due to the pandemic, all the education institutes introduced many innovative ways of teaching and learning in order to maintain the quality of education and content material. According to InTech report 2017, design learning needs digital or online learning to have a progressive future. There is a great need for active interaction between humans and technology through activities using creative intelligence for a bright future of designing field. 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. 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.
(The writer is Founder and Director, ARCH College of Design & Business. The views expressed are personal.)