Monday, 20 April 2009

Evolution: Fashion Websites

Style.com today (April 2009):


Style.com in March 2005:


Style.com in March 2002:


Vogue.com today (April 2009):


Vogue.com in February 2005:


Vogue.com in February 1998 (image/images missing...):


WWD.com today (April 2009):


WWD.com in April 1999:


Prada.com today (April 2009):


Prada.com in December 1998:

You may recall the Prada website stayed like that, with just an image and the logo, until about 2007...

The internet has evolved at such a rate over the past ten years or so, and it's curious how we don't really clock these changes unless we look back. Obviously we remember the days of predominately text webpages, and when probably the first internet 'viral,' Hamster Dance (remember that?!), was about as advanced as things got, but even if you look back at a site from about 3 or 4 years ago, the design and typeface all look rather dated. Partly we don't notice this progress much because when sites are updated to newer versions, the old ones are replaced so we quickly forget about them. This is why we love archive.org (it's where we got the above screen grabs from) because you can feed in a website address, and it will take you back to snapshots of that site from various points in the past. Sadly it doesn't bring up a fully functioning website from the past (it would be amazing to now be able to see, say, what Net-a-Porter was selling in 2000, but regrettably it's not possible), but it's still great for looking back with a degree of nostalgia (is the internet now old enough to induce feelings of nostalgia about its early days?), and remembering when Google looked like this.

There's also the interesting question about the future of the internet. At present, most people's online 'profiles' don't stretch back much further than about 2002, when the more personal 'web 2.0' with blogs, discussion forums, and social networking started to take off, but in future do you think we'll see members on internet forums who have been posting for, say, 20 years? Blogs that have archives going 30 years back? People with 50 years worth of eBay feedback? Or perhaps people will lose interest in current internet activities and we'll all be hooked on something totally different. In the future, when people of the prime 'online generation' pass away, as well as leaving memories, physical possessions, and the like, they'll also leave a huge stream of online information too, floating about on the web... blogs, social networking pages, website accounts, photos on Flickr, reviews on TripAdvisor, Twitter updates, comments on discussion boards, videos on YouTube, and so on, and so on... it's all rather mind-boggling.

3 comments:

  1. Its really an evolution. Its really great to see the new and old version in this way. Pretty interesting... I love this post :)

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  2. it is an absolute crime that this blog gets so few comments.

    some very thought provoking stuff, here.

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  3. oh that sites pretty nifty aint it. i checked through a few sites, asos and myspace are particularly bad! they have came allllllong way.

    i guess we will see in a few years how stuff looks date, its hard to believe but i guess it has to happen.

    keep up the good work Haps

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