Cynthia Rowley’s newest lookbook for her Resort 2013 collection is a clever animated video. Taking a stroll through the alternative world of the interweb with one of the lookbook’s models, the viewer experiences Rowley’s stunning collection as it unfolds in the midst of a technological, artistic dialectic.
A lookbook in video format is a revolutionary platform. It shows that the designer is conscious of cultural trends, where there is a fixation to a digitally driven reality which spans across generations. It boldly deviates from the less exciting 2D webpage, evoking a whole new 3D interactive world of chic, ultimately democratizing the act of viewing the designer’s collection. The video’s whimsicality successfully interacts with the viewer, so we’re not simply (and passively) experiencing the collection through clickable webpages.
Rowley actually debuted this new Gif lookbook format last year with her Resort 2012 collection. Produced by Brooklyn based design duo Pamela Reed and Michael Rader (who go by Reed + Rader), fashion’s new lookbook aesthetic socializes the viewer with art, still photography, film and animation, without distracting from the main attraction, the clothing!
The essence of Rowley’s collection (clothes that move and form with the body, the durability of the material which is further energized by the prints and textures of the clothing), is characterized by her experimentation with transmission. Because Rowley projects the aesthetics of fashion through the affordances of technology, as viewers we are able to sense the spirit of the collection.
These days, the Internet is its own worst enemy, a commodity for competition and communication that has the potential to leave something like an “non-animated” lookbook lackluster. Perhaps Cynthia Rowley’s experimentation with dialogue through a designer’s fashion diary is the way of the future for viewing fashion with the Internet. Without a doubt, Rowley has redefined the nature of the contemporary lookbook.