The Emperor’s New Clothes? Or are you Dressed?
As physical restrictions disrupt our lives and our lifestyles shift to more virtual formats for work and leisure it’s easy to feel a sense of separation from our identities.
But with the help of new technology, fashion can be as much a part of your life online as it is offline.
The first ever Metaverse Fashion Week run from March 24th 2022 featuring luxury brands, household names and digital-native designers and it was held in a virtual environment known as Decentraland.
Made possible using exclusive new tech that converts 2D product images into 3D experiences, Fashion Week offered an immersive shopping experience where buying virtual clothing in Decentraland also saw a physical twin shipped for your real wardrobe. All the clothes and jewellery created for Metaverse Fashion Week were available for purchase with digital money. Since the items could be bought before the fashion week started, people who were in the audience with their avatars were able to wear them during the fashion week.
Fashion is to pivot into a new direction
Digital fashion was discussed as well at the Opinion Festival held in the Estonian City of Paide. The panel ‘Navigating next-gen technologies for culture’ organised by the Council of Nordic Ministers’ office in Estonia predominantly focused on the digitisation of art and culture which has also caused fashion to pivot in a whole new direction.
During the discussion, Estonian fashion designer Xenia Joost described a new phenomenon that is leading the fashion industry to new and exciting territory that’s straight out of science fiction.
Even though fashion is very trendy and always endeavours to stay one step ahead, the industry is lagging in terms of digitisation. There are, however, several ways to approach this. One is cutting production and costs. Many fashion houses are moving towards digitisation, and many initial samples are made digitally. She said they check the fit on persons and then decide whether the item goes into production.
Joost pointed out that digital fashion creation started 2-3 years ago without the purpose of making it into real and tangible products. “A lot of creatives started to play around with these ideas and now there are many so-called fashion entrepreneurs who specialise in creating only digital clothing. I gave it a try during the first Metaverse fashion week, where a digital avatar was used to try on different clothing items,” said Joost of her experience.
Great pictures no longer require physical shopping
According to Joost, fashion is a visual language and digital fashion helps make it even more playful.
Joost also says that digital fashion reduces consumption because you can simply resort to digital fashion for a cool Instagram photo or a fashionable outfit for a video meeting. “This means you don’t need to go to the store physically to get something new. You can wear that digital costume just once for a photo shoot,“ Joost says to describe her vision.
„In general, digital fashion has a deep meaning – it helps to make the world greener, it allows artists to make a different kind of creation and career, not by creating clothes for the world, and the buyer also has the opportunity to buy things he likes at a cheaper price. For example, I would be ready to buy Estonian Fashion Designer Triinu Pungitsa’s digital dress for about 50 euros, because I like her creations and herself. I would wear it on my birthday and share it on social media. But I don’t even want a real dress for 500 euros, because I have nowhere to go with it. Digital fashion plays hard on such people’s longings – I would also like to wear Prada – and big brands already understand this,“ says Külli Hansen, a CEO of Tartu Centre fo Creative Industries, where some digital fashion businesses are developed.
„I believe the future of fashion marketing and product development lies in 3D visualisation and I am here to bring the future closer,“ said Kirke Leinatamm, the Founder and CEO of Scopus Studio. She was one of the speakers at Metaverse Fashion Week.
3D visualisation is a cost- and time-effective sustainable tool that has many possible outputs.
Digitisation may seem to be very innovative and futuristic for fashion, but the fact is that a lot of big players in the fashion industry are already using 3D (for a long time) and it’s becoming a true competitive advantage, she said.
Photo: The jumper Külli Hansen wears does not exist in a real life. It has been designed like a logo of Tartu Centre of Creative Industries and it was designed by Liis Tiisvelt.
Photo by Maria Kilk.
Digital sweater and image compositing by Scopus Studio.
*The Emperor’s New Clothes?- a fairy tale of Hans Christian Andresen