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The Rise of the Drone Fashion Show

Nimrod Kamer and designer of The Rodnik Band, Philip Colbert, are on a quest to replace models with drones. Dazed went along for the test flight

According to satirist and journalist Nimrod Kamer, “selfies” are a thing of the past – the tail end of 2014 is all about “dronies.” While this is exceedingly more expensive and unquestionably harder to master, it has been labelled as the future for the art and fashion world alike.  With that in mind designer of The Rodnik Band Philip Colbert, reknowned for his farcical approach to fashion and the industry, has teamed up with Nimrod to take their drone obsession to the next level. 

Forget models, picture this: ten industrial sized drones displaying garments while flying at random across the catwalk. “Philip has used models all of his life, he loves models, but it’s been done and drones are trending. I use drones for journalism and everything that I do. I never take selfies anymore, I take drone selfies,” says Nimrod casually. “What’s the point of hiring models? Everyone is miserable, drones just fly.”

The Rodnik Band was brought in to parody the idea of presenting fashion in a conventional way. “With fashion I feel like they took it too seriously and they hadn’t really pushed boundaries, so I wanted to make more of a performance about being a designer. Instead of making a runway show, the band performs at the same time. I like to think my clothes are a catalyst of fun connections and energies.” Nimrod quickly interjects: “Catwalks can be boring, so Philip’s trying to take this to a different level with performance, like bringing drums and singing and putting them on the catwalk while you model and drones will be the next step obviously.”  Don’t they think people will perceive this charade as a farce? “Yeah definitely,” says Colbert confidently, “but that’s the nature of fashion, ridiculous. We embrace the absurdity, because that is the creative freedom.”

The drone takeover might sound like a fool-proof plan, but Nimrod’s recent test run ended up with their drone (estimated at a pricey £2000) crashing dramatically into the depths of a murky pond. “It was under the water for about two or three minutes or so," explains cameraman Tom Bell. "It kept on filming for another six seconds under the water. The only permanent damage cost £100 or something.” Bell is being modest. This drone has been painstakingly crafted by him, so not an easy blow to take.

The duo are keen to get the notion of drones being an invasion of privacy out of the minds of the public. “We’re not into military drones, we invented drones for fashion. The Israeli army should use drones for fashion, they should be sending dresses to Gaza, it might just bring peace to the Middle East.”

While Nimrod seems certain this trend is going to catch on, we still need a bit of convincing. It’s time for us to step outside to see this thing in action.  Colbert grabs his lightest garments, a chiffon sheer shirt and a dress emblazoned with garish peeled bananas.

The first attempt is fairly shaky. More to the point, it fails to take off, leaving smashed propeller blades strewn across the concrete. 

On our second attempt, as the drone flies 100m into the air, we start to draw a crowd of locals, fascinated by this bizarre inanimate plane-like object. The garments are fluttering in the wind. This has turned into a public spectacle, with the trio merely walking and holding the drone, until Nimrod finally and reluctantly let go. Success. Maybe drones are the new way forward in the fashion world? “I think today is the first time a drone has ever modelled,” says Colbert triumphantly, “It’s a world exclusive.”  You saw it here first.