Why 1 Fashion Designer Banned Cell Phones at Her Show

Fashion week and social media go hand in hand. Instead of seeing some of the biggest celeb faces in the front rows of your favorite shows, you see their cell phones being held up to capture a photo for Instagram or a video for Snapchat. Events have hashtags, Snapchat filters, and photo booths for guests to prove that they attended certain parties, like the Polaroid “slime” machine at Jeremy Scott’s after party.

But what if a designer banned cell phone and camera usage during their entire fashion show? That’s what Sandra Gagalo, the creative mind behind SAGA NYC, decided to do.

“If people were busy taking photos it would distract them from their experience and from the amazing work of the actors and the clothes,” explained Sandra to Galore.

During her Friday night presentation of “Alyx In Wonderland,” guests were fully immersed in the performance-art presentation that took place, for a full 17 minutes, with no distraction from a flashing camera or emoji usage.

Seventeen minutes sounds like a long time without your cell phone, especially during fashion week, but the absence of technology during the SAGA NYC show was almost as refreshing as the performance itself.

“I wanted everyone to have a true theater experience while looking at fashion,” explained Sandra to Galore. “The goal was for the fashion crowd to be taken out of their element and become immersed in the show. Fashion week moves so fast and amazing presentations turn into another picture to absorb and move on. I don’t think people sit down, think about and appreciate the experience any more, so that’s the gap I was trying to fill.”

The show began with a model (who appeared to be “Alyx”) in baby pink silk capri pants with a clear PVC bra-top. Her movements, accompanied with the tech-soundtrack, were reminiscent of the robot from Ex Machina.

As the show progressed, the audience began to learn that the performance was set in a video game. The models got “programmed” as certain characters and acted accordingly, all while a Siri-like voice droned on over the music as a narrator.

Models were male and female of all shapes and sizes, as SAGA is designed to be genderless.

The sad thing about SAGA banning cameras and phones is that only the lucky few who were actually there (myself included) will know how awesome the show was. But thankfully, they did allow pics to be taken backstage and after the show. So even if you can’t see the awesome dance moves or hear the music/narration that voiced messages of LGBT pride, you can see the clothes.

All photos by Ben Grad

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