Topshop to offer virtual access to London Fashion Week via Oculus Rift

UK fashion retailer Topshop is to use the Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset to offer access to its Topshop Unique event at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall during the 2014 London Fashion Week. 5 competition winners run online will be able to tour the catwalks and backstage areas during the show on Sunday 16th February 2014, while sitting in the window of Topshop’s Oxford Street store.

A taste of the experience can be seen in the video below. Two cameras will live stream the 15 minute show straight to the headsets. The competition winners will be able to look straight ahead to see the catwalk event, which will display the retailer’s Autumn/Winter collection, while they can also look around the crowd too.

Should the user look directly behind themselves they’ll see the backstage area, where the second camera will show models preparing for their turn. Looking up will pull the view up to the rafters where users can see 360-degree images of the show.

The live stream will also incorporate some animated features. Sticking to the theme of Autumn/Winter, tweets will appear as petals that slowly fall to the floor having been dropped by virtual crows. The show will also be streamed online without VR functionality.

While the winners will see the show live, the footage and headsets will remain at the Oxford Street Store until Tuesday 18th February. Shoppers will be able to book a session to experience the show for themselves.

This isn’t the first time that the Oculus Rift has been used outside of games. O2 is also using the headset for a rugby simulator named Wear the Rose. VRFocus will keep you up-to-date on these simulators and any others as they’re announced.