Student works at first real-time virtual fashion show at London Fashion Week

Head of the Institute of Jewellery, Fashion and Textiles, Lee Lapthorne, held the first ever real-time virtual fashion show at London Fashion Week. Not only this, but some of our incredibly talented Fashion and Textiles students got to work on the show too.

Photographs by BA (Hons) Photography student, Jingui Xu.

Lee runs On|Offa talent support programme and catwalk showcasing for emerging designers on the official London Fashion Week schedule.

Libby Hudson, a third year Fashion student, was amongst those that took part. Libby told us about her experience working at LFW and what she got up to.

How were you involved with the London Fashion Week event?

I have been working with Lee since just before Christmas for the LFW showcase. I attended two studio test shoots in London prior to the showcase where I created content and helped with the shoot through being a stand-in model. I also helped with other tasks like researching photographers/videographers. Then for the 3 weeks on the run up to the show, I was responsible for running On|Off's Instagram. This involved editing the showreel, interviewing the designers and collaborators and editing these interviews and posting all content on social media (Instagram and YouTube).  

At the show itself I assisted with the build, took more content for social media, welcomed backstage crew (including the designers), helped to direct the student helpers and set-up the Twitch stream along with the team from Mo-Sys. During the show I helped with ensuring the models were at the right place at the right time and continued to take content which I have since been sharing on On|Off's social media.

Give us a brief overview of the event

The event was a phygital showcase that blurred the boundaries of physical and digital fashion. It was a real time virtual fashion show where physical models were beamed into the metaverse using a green screen, appearing next to their digital counterpart: an avatar wearing a digital version of the physical garment whose movement was controlled by a dancer in a motion-capture suit. Three designers showcased in this space: Taskin Goec, Oscar Keene and Valaclava. During the show each designer showcased three designs in the physical space with the models appearing next to their digital counterpart on screens around the room for spectators to watch.  

What skills did you develop? 

I was able to develop my communication skills through networking with a range of different people and liaising with the PR manager, Lee, alongside the designers and collaborators. I also developed creative skills such as photography and videography, teamwork skills through working with the team to assist with the event, and also learnt a lot about what goes into organising a fashion show. This helped me to learn more about the importance of attention to detail, thinking on your feet and problem-solving. 

How has your course helped you?

My course helped me by giving me the opportunity to work on various live projects with brands like Selfridges and Gymshark, both of which I had the chance to present my work to. This developed my confidence and communication skills. In terms of practical skills, I've been able to develop my creativity and technical skills on software like Adobe Premiere Pro which helped me to produce the content for social media during my time working with On|Off.

I also completed six different placements last year in various roles including marketing, branding, visual merchandising, styling and events. Whilst I did secure these all myself, the work I had produced and the skills I had gained in the first year of my course helped me to gain these placements which helped my personal development further. My lecturers have always pushed me to do my best and supported me, and I have a lot more experience and confidence than I did before I started my course three years ago.

What should you do next?

Find a course

We offer an extensive selection of more than 100 courses, spanning a wide range of subjects for you to explore.

Find a course

Come to an Open Day

Expert academics, state-of-the-art facilities and an inclusive student community - there's so much going on at Birmingham City University. Be at the heart of it all at one of our Open Days.

View our upcoming Open Days

Download one of our helpful Guides

Our guides contain expert advice and guidance designed to help you before joining university.

Follow us on social media

Follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date with everything that's going on at BCU.