The future of fashion may be a digital fashion show streamed globally, which would significantly depart from traditional runway extravaganzas. Some designers, though, like Malan Breton, consider it a significant opportunity. “It can relate to so many things going on in the world right now and can touch so many hearts, and I hope that it will and that it will inspire people everywhere to dream,” Breton told NY1.
With large gatherings cancelled because of the coronavirus, Breton worked with director Luc Schurgers to create his most recent show with avatars. We spoke with Schurgers as he was finishing the edit of the fashion video.
Simon: Is this the future?
Schurgers: Yeah, I think so. Right now, these avatars are made for a fashion show, but they can also jump into a video game, or they can be used for e-commerce applications. Schurgers sees a future where people live much of their lives in the virtual realm, much Like the book and film Ready Player One.
Simon: Explain to me what I see on the screen.
Schurgers: A 3-D virtual set. I am in control these avatars. I can change these clothes … and you can also see I’m puppeteering that avatar in real-time. These futuristic looks reflect garments that were cut, sewn, and then scanned. The avatars are based on accurate models and Schurger’s friends, including dancer, singer and YouTube personality Frankie Grande.
Breton: It’s always fun to have Frank in the shows.
Simon: How did he and other friends of yours contribute to their avatars?
Breton: Well, everyone sent me photographs, and they would send me messages like, “Make me pretty.” Breton named the collection “Immortal” and based some of the avatars on friends lost to coronavirus in order to keep their memory alive.
For fashion show producer David Manning, it’s a glimpse of what’s to come. Digital shows can be more expensive to produce but can be shown to larger audiences and be repurposed.
Manning: We’re looking at a mix of things — the digital CGI thing — bringing that to September, to more kind of zoom-type of fashion presentations. Our bigger platform will be the style 360 story, where the designer talks and presents the clothes in a storytelling format.
Simon: If it’s virtual in September, can I still get a front-row seat?