For Fall 2017, A.F. Vandevorst departed from its typical presentation format. The brand is most likely going to show during couture in July, following in the footsteps of Vetements, Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, and, most recently, Monique Lhuillier. In the meantime, they're inviting retailers, buyers, and clients into to experience the collection in digital form via Ordre.com (the online showroom McQ, Thom Browne, Courrèges, and others use). A.F. Vandevorst has produced 360-degree images with the platform--they're the first to do so.
"In the middle of this season, if we want to bring something [new into the collection], we can do it," explained designer Filip Arickx, one half of the A.F. Vandevorst team alongside An Vandevorst. "We don't have to wait until the next show in Paris, invite everyone..."
Moreover, "clients also get the glasses with 3D sensations," he added. "It's a whole new experience. It's a whole new idea. It's a whole new concept. We want to do more with our client and give them more of a feeling that he is part of the whole thing. We show in July, the moment the collection is in the shop—the moment everyone blogs it or puts it on social media, they can immediately buy it."
So what did the designers do for Fall? Well, the collection is inspired by Grey Gardens for one. Picture a pastiche of black and floral-printed separates referencing Edie Bouvier Beale's brilliantly eccentric sensibilities.
"It's inspired by a woman who doesn't have many means, but is very creative," said Arickx. "She really has a story to tell, and with the things she has in her closet, she makes the craziest creative things! There are embroideries made with garbage bags. Also, the flower print is crazy. Madness."
"I think our clients are very happy that they get more involved in the whole concept," added Arickx of the new format. "They can see all the products in 360 and Ordre.com is also developing a tablet in which you can feel all the fabric."
It's not quite see-now, buy-now, but it's certainly on the same beat. See-now, buy-now, for the smaller business, perhaps.