Dreamy digital designs | Otago Daily Times Online News
I’m in my suburban garden wearing an electric blue bodysuit that makes me look both a water sprite and a cyborg. Tendrils wrap around my limbs. Impossible purple petals unfurl at my feet and explode around my body. What will the neighbors think?
In fact, if the neighbors were watching, they would see me stroll awkwardly past my husband’s iPhone lens, dressed in a black waistcoat and leggings, trying to find an angle that hides the sandbox. It wasn’t until later that the jumpsuit – designed by London duo Auroboros – overlapped the image.
This is digital fashion and – science fiction as it sounds – a multitude of companies are betting on its importance in the near future of fashion.
For now, these mind-boggling virtual creations are either layered on top of stills, posted on social media, or created for avatars to wear in multiplayer games – but they’re not free. The one I’m wearing has a decidedly designer price tag of £ 780 (NZ $ 1,500).
In 2019, a shimmering ‘Iridescence’ dress from The Manufacturer sold for £ 7,800. At the more accessible end, another company, Tribute Brand, sells digital clothing, worn on Instagram by uber-fashion influencer Veronika Heilbrunner, for around £ 36 (NZ $ 70).
In the world of video games – which is now worth more than sports and movies around the world – digital fashion is already booming. The market for ‘skins’, which allow characters to change their appearance in-game, is expected to reach £ 36 billion by the end of 2022, while Fortnite, which has over 250 million users in the world, would earn almost £ 220. millions per month already in skins.
More and more, mainstream fashion brands are getting into the action: Last month, Gucci produced a pair of neon green virtual sneakers, for £ 9, to ‘wear’ in game worlds for real augmented (AR), as well as on social media. And just as NFT (non-fungible tokens) artwork sells for mind-blowing prices – most notably the sale last month of a piece by Beeple for over £ 50million at Christie’s – so do the NFT sneakers.
Earlier this month, a collaboration between ‘crypto native’ brand RTFKT (pronounced artifact) and 18-year-old digital artist Fewocious, made the equivalent of £ 2.24million in seven minutes with selling 621 pairs of NFT sneakers – collectible digital files that come in limited editions, and are marked for authenticity. Physical trainers will eventually be sent to the owners of the NFT files, but company co-founder Benoit Pagotto describes these chattels as just a “bonus”.
In the last fortnight, RTFKT has made an additional £ 200,000 by selling six models of exclusively virtual sneakers, in collaboration with Atari.
“ Things are crazy these days – I’m having fun, ” says Pagotto, whose friends keep phoning him to ask if he’s still rich (“ it’s not in my bank account – we’re a business, ” he assures me.)
“ People have been applying filters on their Snapchat and Instagram for years, so the allure of being able to control your image online is part and parcel of the mainstream culture, ” says Francesca Muston, vice president of fashion, WGSN , trend forecaster.
The creators of Auroboros, Paula Sello (24 years old) and Alissa Aulbekova (22 years old) explain that the garment I “wear” was inspired by Alex Garland’s film Annihilation and “the plants and flowers of the deep seabed” .
The pair are in talks with a slew of tech companies and believe that in about six months it will be possible to ‘wear’ digital fashion using the same type of AR that has become common in face filters. , but which follows the whole body in 3-D, using Lidar cameras, already installed on the latest iPhones and iPads.
The step beyond that, they fervently believe, is to experience the “off-screen” digital AR fashion. For example, using AR glasses, currently being developed in earnest by big tech companies, you can look at a friend in real life and see them “ wearing an Auroboros dress made of water. ”
Creatively, says Sello, it is “an entirely new form of expression.”
So far, the 21st century has been pretty much a repetition of everything that was done in the 20th century. But now we have the ability to carry fire or water on a daily basis. ”
There are a lot of skeptics who dismiss digital fashion as an internet age emperor’s new clothes or worry that humanity is collapsing in front of screens as our minds are sucked further into the matrix. .
“Technology doesn’t have to be terrifying – it can also be utopian,” says Sello. She emphasizes that digital fashion can be experienced together and offers a potential victory in sustainability.
Fashion behavioral psychologist Professor Carolyn Mair thinks it might scratch the same itch as fast fashion. Humans are wired to seek novelty, she says, and “ a pleasing aesthetic, which is why the essence of fashion is that it keeps reinventing itself. ”
Digital outfits could meet this need, giving the same “ self-esteem boost ” that people have much maligned tendency to wear new outfits every time they post on social media, but without making physical clothes to send to the landfill. It’s also a real escape, says Mair, “which appeals to a lot at the moment”.
Pagotto says something strange has happened.
“ Now every once in a while when I’m browsing Instagram and seeing normal photos and normal shoes, it feels very boring to me, like I’m looking at the past. ”
– News and media from the Guardian