Is this the death knell for the fashion show?

The front-row ticket is so last year. Celebrities need no invitation as the Milan catwalk goes online

It's 6pm in Milan and there is the usual scrum to get a good vantage point at the Burberry menswear show. Only this time the jostling isn't going on in the Italian fashion capital – it's happening at computer terminals across the world, as fashion fans rush to log on to see models strut down a virtual catwalk – invite not required.

Such was the scene last night when Burberry Prorsum streamed its men's autumn runway show live on its own website and, in an attempt to widen its reach beyond the rarefied confines of fashion's inner circle. Other top designers followed suit, with shows from Dolce & Gabbana and Emporio Armani also available online yesterday.

Welcome to Fashion 2.0, as luxury fashion houses, which have been criticised in the past for lagging behind other creative industries, finally wake up to the power of the internet. As well as making catwalk fashion instantly accessible – the biannual fashion shows work a season ahead of what is in magazines – streaming fashion shows live creates an additional advertising window for the brand. This is important, given the expense of putting on a fashion show: the US label Ralph Lauren spent around $1.5m (£920,000) on its last one.

Fashion houses believe that increasing their internet presence helps them get closer to their customers. "It gives people an insight into a part of the brand they wouldn't see if they went into a department store that sold our dresses," said Alice King of the designer label Issa. It also makes it easier to get customer feedback. Christopher Bailey, Burberry's creative director, asked the label's fans to provide "comments and feedback" when he issued the open invitation to the Prorsum show via YouTube last week. "OMG I'm watching from Casablanca. I can't believe it," one fan wrote as the show began.

Some fashion commentators view the move in part as a backlash to the increasing army of fashion bloggers who have muscled their way on to – and into – the fashion scene. D&G put bloggers, including Philippines-based Bryan Grey-Yambao, or BryanBoy, in the front row of its spring/summer 2010 show last autumn. Domenico Dolce recently told Women's Wear Daily why he liked the internet. "It allows us to constantly update our consumers. It's much faster and instantaneous and allows you to update the information in real time." D&G's online activities include its site Swide. com, YouTube and a Twitter feed.

In addition to giving fashion fans a peek at new collections three months before they hit the shops, live streaming also helps to drive sales, encouraging fans to order a small selection of catwalk pieces during the show. That's if the shows go according to plan. Millions were left disappointed last October when the website due to screen Alexander McQueen's live spring/summer show crashed.

The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
Text messaging changes as a relationship evolves
The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
peopleComedian's quip about Reeva Steenkamp was less than well received at music magazine awards
Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Real Madrid
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

    £300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

    KS1 Teacher

    £95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

    HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

    £32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

    Day In a Page

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

    A crime that reveals London's dark heart

    How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
    Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

    Lost in translation: Western monikers

    Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
    Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

    Handy hacks that make life easier

    New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
    KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

    KidZania: It's a small world

    The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
    Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

    'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

    The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

    From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
    Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

    Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

    A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
    The 10 best smartphone accessories

    Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

    Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

    Liverpool v Real Madrid

    Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
    West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

    Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?