5 Ways Designers Are Grabbing Attention This Fashion Week

3D Zombie Boy

A 3D view of designer Nicola Formichetti’s muse, Zombie Boy.

Apparently, it’s no longer enough to plant a few celebrities in one’s front row.  Designers are bucking Fashion Week exhaustion with a slew of creative endeavors to keep up their showgoers’ attention.  The advantage is that as fashion houses launch increasingly inventive initiatives, they also invite and attract a wider audience.  Is Fashion Week turning just a little populist?  Let’s count the ways:

  • Forget waiting.  And don’t worry if your invite to Moda Operandi got lost in the mail. Catherine Malandrino, who canceled her Spring 2012 show this week, is still staging a runway presentation — albeit all with clothing that’s currently available.
  • Nicola Formichetti, who helms Thierry Mugler, is setting up Nicola’s, a pop-up shop in Soho.  The store will feature a range of the designer’s work, including Mugler pieces, designs for Lady Gaga, and (more affordably) items from his collaboration with Uniqlo.
  • Formichetti is also dipping a toe into 3D, working with a fantasy-gaming company to create an avatar of his muse (the tattooed model Zombie Boy).  Other designers testing the technology this week include Custo Barcelona and Norma Kamali.
  • Vivienne Tam is launching a yoga collection, which she’s aptly showing on yogis instead of models.  The 20 women will be making a “live sculpture garden” at Lincoln Center (where the shows are taking place).
  • It might not be high fashion, but Patagonia and eBay are making a statement by picking this particular week to announce a joint venture, the Common Threads Initiative, which encourages consumers to reduce their global footprints by not consuming.

Endeavors like these sure raise the week’s circus factor.  What do you think?  Does hearing all this make you feel more engaged by or included in Fashion Week?