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Way before the pandemic started, many of us have noticed the rapid evolution of technology. Covid just made all the technological advancements happen faster than anticipated. If you think about it, there are very few things nowadays that people do not need to use technology for. But what about the fashion industry?
Ph. Tumisu, Pixabay
Fashion did not stay behind as new technologies progressed fast forward. The biggest trend at the moment is, indeed, the metaverse and virtual fashion.
Many brands nowadays have easily featured their products and vision in the virtual space with the same value and status they have in real life.
What Is Metaverse?
The term 'metaverse' has become more widely used with the popularity of crypto and bitcoins, a whole new world is being built in front of our eyes. Ever since video games were created, a new virtual reality was introduced and this is now opening many opportunities for artists who are thriving on this new phenomenon. As for the web developers, they are trying their best to save it. But what is it all about? The New York Times defines metaverse as “a variety of virtual experiences, environments and assets that gained momentum during the online-everything shift of the pandemic”.
We can, without a doubt, say that this is a way for the community to realise that sooner or later everything could be moved into a new virtual world.
Is There Such A Thing As A Fashion Metaverse?
If everything is to be moved online nothing will be left behind and fashion is one of the things that are already there, even if it does not feel like it. As people spend more time online, CB Insights Industry Analyst Consensus estimates that virtual goods will represent a $190B market by 2025.1 The way fashion is immersed in the metaverse can be split into two categories: a combination of physical and digital, in which clothing can be worn through augmented or virtual realities, and a fully digital market in which items can be purchased directly from an avatar. Considering there is a demand for such products, more and more high-end brands are trying to make their way into the metaverse. However, with some people being sceptical about moving into virtual, brands are also showing their concerns. To test the virtual environment and digital fashion with all its perks and flaws, the majority of brands have made various collaborations with game, social, and metaverse platforms.
Ph. Mo, Pexels
The Place Of High-end Brands In The Metaverse
The virtual world is supposed to represent a flawless world, in which everyone wants to achieve perfection. Luxury is a key component in the metaverse and that is where the high-end brands can once again dominate the fashion world. Just because some of us are just now learning about the metaverse, this does not mean that it just appeared. Most brands have been working on various projects and collaborations to establish a status in the online society for years now. Louis Vuitton, for instance, released a League of Legends collection in 2019. The brand entered into a multi-year partnership with Riot Games in September that includes both physical and digital designs for the 2019 League of Legends World Championship. That is just one example of a way to be present in the metaverse. Moschino released skins for The Sims, Gucci released a digital collection for a styling app; Nike, Chanel and Balenciaga have collaborated with ‘Pokemon Go’ making virtual shoe collections.
That is just a glimpse into the virtual world. Many more things are being created on a daily basis and many more are disappearing from the real world. There is a place for everyone online, whether for better or worse. Along with trying to keep up with the trends in reality, now we would actually have to keep up with the digital ones as well. It is a challenge worth accepting.
After striding in during the last two years of fashion shows, virtual reality is becoming bigger, closer and more real in 2022. PrettyLittleThing step into the metaverse with their first virtual model.
Fashion started when humans began wearing clothes, so the statement ‘the history of fashion is a history of people’ is a matter of fact. Even with the pandemic in the picture, the world of fashion is still going but with a slight twist: technology is here to stay and be a part of every aspect of our lives, even fashion.
Ph. Simon Lee, Unsplash
To keep up with the trends, 3D printing is becoming a widely used alternative to fabric in the fashion industry.
We can trace the origin of fashion design back to 1826! Fashion reflects the passage of time and if we look back we can learn a lot about history and culture solely based on the fashion trends. Zooming to the last two years, everyone could notice the rapid growth of technology and it is not a surprise latest innovations entered the industry.
Is 3d Printing Replacing The Sewing Process?
Ph. Tom Claes, Unsplash
The biggest threat in the world of fashion is fast fashion and all the negative aspects of it, from the terrible working conditions to the effects on the environment. Many people nowadays are more conscious about the way they approach fashion. Those new aspects are taken into account and are pushing designers to look for ways to accommodate their customers; this is where new innovations come in handy. It is becoming important to use 3D printing for sustainable and eco-friendly purposes, as well as turning the advance of technology to your advantage. 3D-printed garments can cut manufacturing waste, reduce carbon footprint, and promote circular economy. Fashion is embracing 3D printing due to its many advantages, and there are no limits to the possibilities. From clothing to footwear to accessories, 3D printing offers unlimited opportunities.
One of the most well known kinematic garments is the kinematic dress of design-studio-cum-science-lab Nervous System, founded in 2007. Designers and co-founders of Nervous System studio, Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg, merge nature and technology in their line of Kinematics garments, including the Kinematics Dress, that was required by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for their permanent exhibition. Rosenkrantz and Louis-Rosenberg say that “the Kinematics Dress represents a new approach to manufacturing which tightly integrates design, simulation, and digital fabrication to create complex, customised products".
This future started at some point in the past, the studio was working at this already in 2013!
The Making Of The Dress
The dress is made up of 2,279 unique triangular panels and 3,316 hinges, to allow it to be printed as a single folded piece at the Shapeways factory in New York. All the pieces of the dress are rigid individually but, once combined, they function as a piece of continuous fabric that allows the dress to conform to the body and flow fluidly as it moves. The founders of Nervous System wanted to create a 3D printed garment that is both a gorgeous futuristic piece and comfortable for the wearer. At that time, most fashion designers experimenting with 3D printing made good looking garments for a magazine photoshoot, but if you were to wear it, the dress would feel like being covered in plastic. The designers' goal is to create a simple 3D printing method, so they developed an app to allow wearers to indicate their body shape and specify their desired length, patterning, silhouette, and other customizable design details. “We’re interested in computerising the entire manufacturing process” says Jessica, “we’re still in the very beginning, but we envision a future where people end up using their skill and creativity to create an end product that is completely accessible and affordable”.
Envision a future where you will be able to create and print your own unique garment in your bedroom with the click of a button. This is no longer a dream, it is a reality and people are doing it. It is exciting to observe the innovations, tactics, and designs that are created as this technology grows and it’s even more exciting to be a part of it.
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