Blogger Diaries: We waxed lyrical about RAFW with YouTube

Recently, we were asked by YouTube Australia / Google Australia to write a post recapping our video related experiences at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week 2010. Needless to say it was excited to be asked to wax lyrical, but then daunting at the same time since we had only started to dabble in the fine art of capturing video footage.

Read what we wrote here on the official YouTube blog, or read our extended version below.

Australian Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010: bloggers at fashion week, videos and live streaming

So Rosemount Australian Fashion Week ended with a rat-shaped birthday cake which started a food fight to end the week-long festivities. But if you dig a little deeper there was more to it than models walking down the runway when you’re a one-man show, otherwise known as a independent blogger who’s single handedly trying to scribble notes, take non-blurry photos, while TwitPic-ing and finally recording the final model walk.

Before I go on, my name is Helen Lee and I am a fashion blogger. I first started creating websites and blogs thanks to website envy I experienced as a 16 year old, how appropriate that I chose fashion as topic of choice. I came to video when I was gifted a Flip HD video recorder for being an ‘influencer’ last year and have been experimenting with the medium since.

Rosemount Australian Fashion Week was my fourth RAFW experience, my first as a 100% independent fashion blogger. According to Graeme Lewsey, marketing and communications director at IMG Fashion, the organiser of RAFW, said that a total of 30 bloggers were accredited this year, compared to about 6 bloggers in 2009. It must be added that even if you weren’t accredited by IMG, you could still attend fashion shows if the PR representatives for the designers invited you along.

So is fashion week even considered work? Well for those who have to attend for work, we literary go from fashion show to media centre to punch in some words into a computer and then to queue up for another show.  An article was written last week about the hierarchy of the seating assignments at fashion shows, and it was interesting to see that no fashion bloggers rated a mention even though RAFW had flown out international fashion bloggers Susie Lau of Style Bubble and Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil who were both given front row seats for their efforts, and RAFW’s official Facebook updater was set up front row at all the shows with a little laptop desk for sponsor (and we suspect look-at-us-we’re-supporting-bloggers) purposes.

For the record I was officially assigned front row seats at Alex Perry, Camilla and Marc and up-and-comer’s Sara Phillips and Saint Augustine Academy, with 5 second row assignments. I think I did pretty well in a fashion industry that is still coming into the independent digital space.

So what about my coverage? I turned to video this year because I wanted to show my readers exactly what I saw. It wasn’t instantly successful, until the big shows that drew the most media coverage came around – namely Alex Perry, Ellery and Ksubi. My videos were undoubtedly amateur and entirely dependent on where I managed to squeeze into a seat (or somewhere to stand because I wasn’t technically invited – for the record my favourite spot is in the photographers pit), but it was an added part to my coverage and online ‘brand’ of

But I wasn’t the only one doing the video thing this year, sponsors like ghd were filming their own clips for their website and Fairfax websites were live streaming certain shows throughout the week on the Sydney Morning Herald website. Live streaming fashion shows took in a big way during the international shows in February/March 2010 with most of the major fashion houses live streaming their fashion shows from their websites (Burberry even held 3D screenings across the globe to a select group of fashion editors), but to see a media outlet taking on the responsibility of bringing the images to the masses was interesting and very forward thinking (in Australia anyway – especially after some rather negative comments made by a so-called fashion journalist just before RAFW).

Even more interesting was seeing a guy standing in the media pit holding a laptop open to live stream/record the Camilla and Marc show. It was interesting to see more people and media outlets explore the video and video streaming options during RAFW, especially in fashion when watching an item of clothing move is more powerful than a still image.

There was a bit of chatter this week from a blogger – whose name I didn’t catch, but instead her American accent and flame red hair caught the corner of my eye – who said that when designers heard that she wanted to live stream their shows, she was granted instant access.

A sign of Australian gate keepers opening the door to exposing their clients to ‘eye balls’ and not just the ‘right’ magazine editors and newspaper journalists? I hope so.

Image by and Helen Lee