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Paris Fashion Week: A Shape-Shifting Kaleidoscope

Posted on 7 October 2015

Alexander McQueen

Trying to make sense of the fickle world of fashion in social media can be a bit like sifting through the shape-shifting beads and crystals of a kaleidoscope. Only instead of colorful symmetrical patterns, expect the mirrored reflections to be capricious, at best.

Enter the phantasmagoria of Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016, light chambers of razzle-dazzle “insta-catwalks,” devised expressly for social media, sometimes even at the expense of clothing design.

Fortunately, the needle has been sharpened by a new “insta-look” social media intelligence tool—a new social media analytical lens from NetBase, called Storyscope.

Storyscope is an interactive feature that offers an instant customized visualization of millions of social media conversations, allowing one to dial a roulette wheel to expand or contract a topic’s storyboard. Then, by clicking on a labeled segment, to activate relevant scrollable and clickable sound bites to the right of the Storyscope wheel. Additional customization can be readily dialed up for sentiment and gender analysis to analyze trending terms, hashtags, brands, people and things.

For example, the brand analysis Storyscope below illustrates that overall, during the just concluded Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016 collections, Dior and Chanel earned social media influence advantage by moving the needle to generate the greatest share of social reach.

Social media traffic peaked on Oct. 2, the day of both Dior and Rick Owens presentations. Given today’s made for social media catwalks, artifice has become de rigueur, plausibly a driving factor in the spike. But the ruse compelling the labels’ social media preeminence couldn’t be more divergent.

At Dior, Rihanna, who, like all of todays pop divas, rules her social identity and commands a heady social media legion (27.1 million Instagram followers), was the gem who lifted, or detracted—depending on your take—Dior’s social impressions. Rihanna’s Tumblr feed (Rihannainfinity) dominated the NetBase analysis of top 10 most popular posts during PFW, followed only by Rick Owens Japanese media and other coverage.

On the Rick Owens catwalk, the theatrics involved the lurid display of women literally draped over each other, as if a contorted accessory. (Never mind the interpretation…women supporting women…the ostentation of women…marginalization of women…same sex adornment? This is the stuff of a different analysis altogether.)

To get a gender appraisal of Oct. 2 PFW social media traffic, we spun the same brand Storyscope, filtered by date, noting a predominant female esteem for Dior and Chanel, but also appreciated by men. Popping out, too, on the Storyscope was the Japanese attention given to Rick Owens.

PFW SS16 Brand Analysis by Gender - NetBase Storyscope

Although overshadowed by Rihanna’s appearance at Dior, the Rick Owens show earned extensive social traction in Japan.

When analyzed by potential impressions during the Oct. 2 spike, the significant influence of both Vogue Japan and Drudge Report created optimal social momentum with their reporting on the Rick Owens show, as shown in the sample NetBase top 10 most popular posts below.

In another example of Storyscope’s facility for analytical versatility, we wanted to know what sort of “things” grabbed attention at PFW, as well as their sentiment. Predictably, street style ranked high, but so did shoes, as shown in the sentiment Storyscope below.

PFW Things Analysis - NetBase Storyscope

By selecting the tool’s sentiment lens, then dialing “things,” instead of “brands” as in the previous analysis, we were able to detect a significant interest in the shoes worn during PFW. A separate gender analysis of “things” not shown here, also discerned equal gender interest in PFW shoes.

Bien sûr, PFW trotted out the treads: slingback mules, plastic platform loafers, Berkie riffs (Chanel, no less), you name it, all sorts of chausseurs traipsed the catwalk. Befitting legacy, next Spring the Parisian flâneur will saunter in style.

But if you want to know what shoes you’ll be wearing, you’ll have to dial up a NetBase Storyscope. Fashion is, after all, as mutable as the images in the refracted lens of a kaleidoscope.

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