Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

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 We often forget how much knowledge we can pool in a second and disseminate ideas so quickly in today’s fast-paced digital world. The evolution of technology in fashion communication explores the constant changing natures of fashion trends and how it affects the development of broadcasting information. This distribution of fashion intelligence has started a revolutionary path in creating a disruption in the way we promote trends. Starting from the invention of the printing press through its transition into the digital platforms, we are now more than ever expected to experience a complete three hundred city degree view of engagement through our daily digital encounters of fashion. But how much further can we exceed our limit to adapt faster to this virtual conundrum?
“Fashions that are now called new
Have been worn by more than you;
Elder times have used the same,
Though these new ones get the name.”
Middleton’s —Mayor of Quinborough

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Origins of Fashion Communication

Fashion communication originally developed from western civilisations where royal families featured the court life during the late 1300s. The ability to dress up in a fashionable  manner signified the status of your class, which were predominantly associated with the aristocrats. Nevertheless, the need to communicate and relay these information has risen as people sought to achieve higher statuses as the level of interest in fashion was growing through the help of fashion plates. Fashion plates have depicted and reported the latest fashion trends during the 16th Century in France and England. It was a phenomenal distribution to ensure the capacity for workshops throughout Europe to produce them. They can be considered to be one of the first attempts in conveying fashion information that provided customers with a detailed pictorial illustration of the stylism during a certain particular time period. 
During the history of fashion plates, the relaying of these fashion images can be perceived starting from the portraitures of the royalty. The initial intention of these portraits were meant for exchanging marriageable contracts among the the high-status, but it has also significantly jump started the road to fashion communication. Thus, the printing of the fashion plates were widely sought after as publishers started to add these new contents in their magazine. Wenceslas Hollar, who was appointed his Majesties’ designer during the rule of Charles II,  “May be the inventor of fashion plates, or at least its most important ancestor”. The hierarchal regulation of these customs started to dominate the public taste of fashion through mass imitation.
II. Invention of the Printing Press
Shortly after the circulation for the need of fashion information has advanced, the technological advancements for the media came into the picture. The innovation of the printing press in the 15th Century by Johannes Gutenberg accelerated the process of providing information. Gutenberg’s printing press was “transformed by the technology of the time to now be able to print fashion plates”. Even the French publication Mercure Galant started their first  publication in 1672, where it marked an impressive development in the history of fashion journalism. The magazine was credited to be the earliest fashion magazine to address the season’s fashion trends that were accompanied by news about stories, anecdotes, madrigals, court nest, and text about fashions to the provinces and the rest of the world. It had  played a pivotal role communicating fashion contents in a prominent way. 
“What the world is today, good and bad, 
it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced
 to this course, but we are bound to bring him homage… 
for the bad that his colossal invention has brought 
about is overshadowed a thousand times by the 
good with which mankind has been favoured.”
—Mark Twain

The development of photography was also initiated during the 1830s as most of the magazines started using photographic material relevant to the reproduction of these fashion illustrations. Starting from Vogue, more and more publications started to adapt to the shift in medium. This advancement of fashion photography has marked the birth of the world of fashion magazine and content creators. As a result of these new mediums, The modernisation of print technology during the 19th Century was crucial to the rapid and inexpensive methods of mass production. It had caused a dramatic aftermath to the noble classes as they used to look down upon these mass produced prints as they preferred hand-inked books that signified their symbol for luxury instead. 
Fashion Photography has been called into question time to time as it has been called  commercial more so than creative. Yet in truth, it has produced some of the most socially revealing tastes as it challenges the attitude and test of the time. The industry grew exponentially as print production was a huge part  in print  manufacturing. “Both printing technology and the demand for reading material took a sudden leap forward,”  Nevertheless, the printing press has an interesting correlation to the information era today as it  became more accessible to the public eye. With these new improvements, fashion photography offered a wide range of flexibilities  and creativity for fashion shows for the luxurious houses. Fashion Advertisement hit a new value as it became a significant means to create a market not only for showcasing the garment, but  implement a new lifestyle to its customers.
III. Print to Online Media
Despite the major technological developments in the magazine industry in history, the magazine industry today is facing its most challenging era ever. With the popularity of television and online media outlets rising, our attention has slowly shifted from print to a multi-sensory digital platform. Television and internet became easily accessible to family households and all of the earlier platforms such as newspapers, radio, and magazines were faced with an adjustment crisis. These digital sources became a key tool in persuading fashion communication, helping to create fashion trends with such speed that fashion magazines could not overpass. Video cable shows such as Videofashion News, MTV, and Fashion award shows started to provide viewers with day to day reports of fashion internationally.
Even world wide publishers such as Condé Nast had to take response to the recession of print magazines as The New York Times published articles with headlines such as, “Prominent Magazines Lose Weight… When even Condé Nast is in Retreat,” The print medias had to find alternative solutions to adjust and adapt to the shift towards a web centred generation.  But the retreat of print medias announces the arrival a new generation of Fashion Bloggers. Fashion bloggers carries enormous influence over everything from print to online marketing for fashion brands today. The number of fashion blogs we encounter today is limitless as they create fashion   contents and online stream their experiences during fashion shows, brand launches, and through their youtube channels.
The way we circulate information has drastically changed since the creation of such platforms and mediums. From magazines to the online media, the advent of the internet and social media has caused a shift from analog to digital. The rise of online influencers has penetrated the traditional structure of how fashion information was democratized. With the introduction of the Web2.0 has escalated the subjective nature of fashion journalism—or fashion content creating, more commonly known as today. This subculture has liberated fashion communication in a sense where your social status did not determine whether you could communicate and celebrate fashion. Nevertheless, the future of our digital platform will continue to enhance the accessibility for its online entity as it is evident that the evolution of technology in fashion has increased the amount of information that we are currently exposed to today.


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