• Benoit Palop

Gravity-defying outfits are becoming mainstream

All the visuals © The Fabricant

Last months’ voracious appetite for the digital and, of course, the crypto madness, has been shaking the whole creative landscape. It has put light on non-physical and online art, vigorously accelerating its acceptance towards the general public. However, it has not helped that much to demystify digital fashion, a tech-driven approach amid a revolution for which it seems people are still not ready.

Confusing to many, DigiFa has been boosted by its post-pandemic breakthrough and continues to re-shape the fashion landscape at large. For many studios and designers, the new possibilities offered by e-garments are limitless and push the boundaries of fashion creativity beyond design issues. It offers a prolific field of exploration in terms of business and marketing models, in addition to new angles from which to examine digital era topics such as the virtuality of things and the impact of the internet on culture and social matters.

Ready-made e-garments to reformat shopping rituals

Years back, we would have thought ourselves slightly stupid to spend cash on a virtual outfit but, in 2021, the mindset has evolved. The exponential increase of our daily time spent online and, consequently, the importance that is given to our online exposure is a game-changer. While the virtual self has taken over, fashion has left the streets for social media and online platforms.

Roughly speaking, DigiFa items are computer-generated garments that you, or your avatar, worn through URL interactions or social media appearances. Here the whole outfit is CG, made of pixels and digital layers. Nothing real, nothing tangible — and for all the lazy out there, obviously there is no fitting room queue.

Just head to the online shop of the brand you want to spend your money on, browse its web-based closet and pay for the ready-made digitized outfit you feel like. Once the transaction is done, there are usually two alternatives. Either you can upload your exclusive — but affordable — 3D dress and play with the file using your 3D software skills, or if you are afraid to mess up your street cred, then send a snap series of yourself directly to the company. Generally, they will handle this quite well and make the gravity-defying garments fit your body regardless of your measurements. It’s certainly good to underline this radical change in the shopping ritual, however, the main revolution happens elsewhere.

Reality check speeds up the digitalization of the fashion industry.

If avant-garde studios like The Fabricant have been digging into the virtual clothes industry and challenging old-school fashion codes for a few years, for traditional couture houses and brands, fully embracing the digital realm is a challenge — albeit essential. Indeed, several big players, such as Burberry, Balenciaga, Versace, and Gucci, have been forced to speed up their ongoing digital transition. E-garments, TikTok & Twitch catwalks, AR effects and filters, virtual showrooms, game-based skins, and NFTs, among other components, have been popping as answers while being in line with post-covid approaches.

But more than a way to calm down the unprecedented crisis that the fashion community is going through, this move also presents an opportune time to intensify the actions toward environmental and sustainability issues, the plague of the industry for decades.

What’s next?

Both e-garment items 'brands’ and ‘doom-scroll ’n’ chill’ customers are booming and we’re likely to reach the critical moment when digital clothing will take over the fashion market. However, and despite this awakening of the couture leaders, it seems that the future of fashion is on its way to becoming more about community, DIY, and focussed on ethical and waste-less, local and small productions.

As technologies and digital tools are becoming more accessible and easy to handle, and new creative economy models, NFTs, DAOs, are empowering individuals over organizations, we can expect that creators will be, like never before, at the center of the debate.

This is just hopes and we don't exactly know what the future of fashion is made of, but there is something we're sure about: Splashing out lots of bills on physical designer clothes is definitely 2019.

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