It was the first fashion week in New York when designers finally took advantage of the latest technologies to enhance their runway experience. The major industry event of the season didn’t cater only to the editors and press this time, but invited fans all over the world to experience the shows. From live streaming to live tweeting, some of the designers embraced technology more than others and definitely raised the bar for everyone else:

Vivienne Tam live streamed her runway show, including the pre-show live segment, hosted by yours truly and syndicated on StyleCaster.com/VivienneTam. I had a chance to put in unusual spotlight and interview some of my favorite fashion bloggers including Julia Dinardo from FashionPulseDaily.com, Jordana from Clutch22.com, Vyque from Fasshonaburu.com, Morgan from RunningWithHeels.com, Wendy from Nitrolicious.com and many more.

Baby Phat by Kimora Lee Simons not only live streamed the show, they projected it at the media center of the world – NYC Times Square. The pre-show was hosted by the fashion expert Robert Verdi and gave viewers the look behind the scenes of the runway show. Video of the live stream is available now on Youtube.

Tory Burch, who opted for a presentation format (the only one in the tents!), live tweeted from the show while also posting photos on Facebook and providing updates on Anna Wintour’s arrival.

Norma Kamali staged her entire show named “Democratization of Fashion” in front of the Apple store in Soho, while inside the store she launched her new iPhone app, which allows people to shop NK collections immediately from their phones.

Isaac Mizrahi, on the last day of NYFW, live streamed his show on IsaacMizrahiNY.com. Multiple cameras flying around the runway allowed a close (if not better) look into the clothes, all from the comfort of our computer screen.

Watching these designers exploring new technology tools made me wonder about the value of actually attending the runway shows. Being a blogger, I’m usually seated all the way in the back, that’s if I’m lucky to be even invited… That location allows minimal impression from the quality of the clothes, not to mention the ability to snap good photos, which many times also prevent from instant blogging the shows. While watching Isaac Mizrahi show live online I could pay a close attention to the collection, take some snapshots from the screen and post the review immediately, while my thoughts were still fresh. I did not have to either face the Bryant Park crowds and attitude or even worse spend at least an hour waiting in standing line while wearing 6 inch heels, only to be turned away because the PR firm overbooked the show.

I can hear the old guards screaming right now about nothing replacing the runway show thrill and atmosphere. It is true, but the tools we have today can easily provide a very similar front-row experience to much larger masses, besides the 1,000 people seated in a tent. You might argue whether do we need the mass runway show experience during this exclusive industry event, but that’s a subject for a whole another post…