As the elitist walls built around the fashion industry crumble, more and more designers are opening the doors and allowing fashion fans everywhere the opportunity to take part in the runway experience. You miss out on the excitement of physically being in the tents, but you're actually getting a much better view of the show. I'll be viewing most of the SS 2011 shows in this manner and it's easy for you to join in the fun from your own laptop, desktop, iPad, iPhone, etc.
The official Mercedes Benz Fashion Week digital calendar can be found on their website, listing those designers that will be simulcasting their shows via their website or Facebook pages (click on the designer's name to access the link to the show.)
10am - BCBG Max Azria
8pm - Academy of Art University Graduation Fashion Show
10am - Derek Lam
1pm - DKNY
8pm - Tommy Hilfiger
11am - Carlos Miele
2pm - Donna Karan New York
6pm - Betsey Johnson
7pm - Perry Ellis
10am - Badgley Mischka
10am - Michael Kors
11am - Nanette Lepore
5pm - Odd Molly
6pm - Anna Sui
12pm - Isaac Mizrahi
While not listed above, Alexander Wang will project video of his show on to several buildings in lower Manhattan. Marc Jacobs will also host digital viewing for both of his collections on his website and Bergdorf's will stream Jason Wu's show live on their site today.
In addition to the above, there are several fashion websites offering live streams of shows to the viewing public. Recently launched FirstComesFashion.com will provide streams and content from 30 shows including Carolina Herrera and Rodarte. AOL's Stylelist will stream almost all of the 37 designers showing at Milk Studios. Even Style.com is getting into the mix, streaming 15 shows from their site including 3.1. Phillip Lim and offering a plethora of content through their just launched iPad app.
I couldn't be more excited about fashion's embrace of technology and it's ability to bring designers closer to the people most important to them ... their customers, the people who will ultimately buy the designs sent down the runway. So put on your comfiest outfit, curl up on your couch with your laptop and dive into fashion week. I'll be doing just that this weekend.
UPDATE: Check out Fashinologie.com for a more comprehensive list of SS 2011 runway livestreams.