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Tagwalk: a fashion revolution?

 

A few days ago Alexandra Van Houtte, former assistant stylist at Numéro, launched a brand new search engine dedicated to fashion. Based on a system of keywords, Tagwalk might just revolutionise the industry.

It's impossible to work in fashion and not be aware of the omnipotent style.com, recently renamed Voguerunaway. Half online magazine and half search engine, Voguerunaway is all about sharing fashion shows with the widest audience possible. Ever since its inception in 2003 Voguerunaway has held the monopoly over the dissemination of shows thanks to its instantaneousness, its caustic critique and its sheer enormity. While other fashion sites publish the shows with a few accompanying remarks, the kingpin of Fashion Week has never been dethroned.

 

Beyond its informative role, Voguerunaway is also an vital tool for a large number of people in the business, particularly stylists who use the site to select looks that will appear in the upcoming editions of magazines. Hours and hours are spent looking, selecting, saving and printing looks that fit the themes of the photos. So Voguerunaway is useful, sure, but not entirely optimal. 

 

 

With this in mind, Alexandra Van Houtte, assistant stylist and graduate of the London College of Fashion, former assistant at Lanvin and Numéro, came up with the simple but very smart idea of creating a new search engine devoted to fashion. It’s name? Tagwalk.As an assistant I spent literally hours looking for flowery dresses or white shirts at the last minute. I thought there must be an easier and above all a quicker way to do things,” explains Alexandra.

 

To sum it up in just a few words, Tagwalk combines the principal of Voguerunaway with two influential social networks, Instagram and Pinterest. “I created Tagwalk for assistant stylists, students, journalists and trend-hunters. The site is free, available in English and French and I wanted it to be both ergonomic and very functional,” Alexandra continues. Based on a system of keywords (like Instagram’s hashtags),Tagwalk allows you to find all the season’s looks shown at the New York, London, Milan and Paris Fashion Weeks, and then create your own moodboards a la Pinterest. An innovation that could shake up the industry for good.

 

 

 

Firstly, as Alexandra explains, "… when I'd use Voguerunaway in order to save time and be as efficient as possible, I'd tend to look at the big houses first, like Chanel, Dior and Céline. But with Tagwalk the research is done using keywords which means young designers like Drome get the same level of visibility as the others.” And thanks to her “Trends of the week”, “Colour of the week” and “Crush of the week”, these lesser known labels have just as much chance of appearing on the front page. 

 

After several years in the industry as an assistant stylist, Alexandra had plenty of time to develop her own 'eye'. The chosen key-words for each look are the fruits of her observations and as she highlights, “the goal is not to repeat the press releases sent out by brands but to offer a global vision of the clothes and the accessories.” She continues, “For the autumn-winter 2016/17 season it's interesting to see how across the collections, there's a dozen or so keywords, so just as many emerging trends, including military, velvet and baby-doll.” Making Tagwalk a sort of trend analysis tool based around a season's recurring keywords.

 

 

In its time Style.com has engendered massive upheavals with the collections - now available to the general public - having to be reconsidered for viewing through a screen and not just on the runway or in boutiques. In the same way - even if the keywords are chosen by Alexandra - this system could end up drawing attention to the stark lack of uniqueness of certain collections and end up forcing designers to harmonise their proposals. After having spent hours looking at and analysing every look of every show during the four Fashion Weeks, Alexandra says, "Some designers are afraid of being biased and end up ticking every trend box: three military looks, a bit of grunge, baby-doll and nineties… Whereas someone like Alexander Wang follows his ideas though. His punk and sportswear collection is consistent right to the very end.

 

Ultimately with its desire to make her life and those of other fashion players easier, Tagwalk, the new search engine dedicated to the industry might even cause its own little revolution.

 

 

www.tag-walk.com

 

By Léa Zetlaoui

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