Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Google Does Fashion: Diane von Furstenberg puts Google Glass on the Catwalk

 Diane suddenly realised she should've gone to Specsavers...
[All images via WWD, credited to Giovanni Giannoni].

I might have added comedy captions here (sorry, DVF) but I'm more than a little intrigued about Google's Glass technology being brought to the fashion world. The search engine giant already dominates the fashion industry in plenty of hidden ways - all those bloggers who want to rise to the top are at the mercy of Google's algorithm and the power of SEO overlord Matt Cutts, whilst new brands that need to be found online or department stores that need to be visible for key search terms above all of their competitors are also affected. This, in a way, is just a more blatant form of the big G's dominance, putting founder Sergey Brin on the front row and getting all of the models wearing his technology. I was half expecting someone from Bing to be shaking their fist angrily in the background and brandishing a pair of 3D specs, but somehow it didn't get that far.

The aim of Google Glass is to bring you connectivity without taking you away from real life, so you can record imagery and video or send messages but you're not staring at an intrusive screen throughout. To show how large companies and creatives can use it, von Furstenberg has been recording with Glass and will show how it's captured her work in a short video to be released, naturally, on Google +. Fashionistas were a little surprised at the design of the gadget but, as this is all in production stages, we can assume some modifications will be made before it hits the shops.

Aye aye, Google sets its sights on the NYFW runway. Parrot just out of shot.

Ok, pirate and optician jokes well and truly done, it's time to look at the practicalities of this thing. To be honest, I can see a lot of advantages to Glass, especially as I've often daydreamed about having a way of recording images and video in all of those places where you're not allowed to take your camera - art galleries that have crap postcard selections and demand you pay £60 for a print of a nice painting; times when you'd like to record a shop assistant being incredibly rude to you and send it to the smug CEO of the company after uploading it onto YouTube... ah, so many possibilities. Obviously with the introduction of Google Glass then those savvy shop assistants and gallery attendants will just tell you to take off your bloody tech device, but that's beside the point of the daydream, right? 

In simple terms, Glass is going to be about a personal view of the world for style mavens, whether that's used for promoting your fashion label or capturing every moment of a fabric buying trip to India. It'll keep you connected as you go, allowing you to filter ideas in something resembling a stream of consciousness. I think that, as long as they improve its slightly off-putting appearance, this will be a useful tool for everyone from designers to bloggers. Personally I can't wait to watch DVF's film and feel like I'm seeing through her eyes, if only through this new technology.

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