Picks and Pans Review: Web Wear
Giving new meaning to "geek chic," fashion magazines are popping up all over the Web. The Women's Wire (http://women.com) targets busy women, offering information on the big trends, a guide to pronouncing tough designer names (Ray Cow/a/koo/ba) and videos from runway shows of tamer designers like DKNY and Ralph Lauren. More serious fashion junkies can visit CNN Style (http://www.cnn.com/ STYLE/index.html), which offers timely reports, photos and videos of cutting-edge shows like Prada and Jean-Paul Gaultier. Since fashion is all about being ahead of a trend, the immediate and exhaustive access of the Net is posing a problem for designers: They fear that knockoffs of their work, once only highlighted on TV and in trade papers, could hit the racks before their own creations do. Accordingly, the French Fashion Federation has threatened to take away the press passes of photographers who upload runway photos to the Net. It's unclear if the designers can legally bar the Internet distribution of photos. For now, they are trying to curb the practice by making photographers sign "no-Net waivers." Nonetheless, one fashion mag on the Web, first View (http://www.firstview.com), has made getting the scoop its baguette and butter. For a yearly fee of $999, subscribers can see the current collections of everyone from Armani to Lagerfeld. Too high a price to pay for fashion? Well, anyone can browse firstView's photos of last season's collections and see supermodels like Claudia Schiffer and Shalom Harlow—for free.
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