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Monday, 20 September 2021 12:23

Fashion designers employ technology in their collections to woo potential customers


Fashion and technology will take centre stage at this year’s Melbourne International Games Week as part of Creative Victoria’s Creative Exchange event on 8 October.

The event, co-presented by ACMI, will bring together local fashion talent and leading industry figures, and will showcase the results of the Digital Fashion Incubator and the global launch of luxury fashion space Semblance World, funded through a grant by Epic Games.

The Digital Fashion Incubator will showcase the experience of seven Victorian apparel and accessory designers as they explore the possibilities of augmented reality and virtual reality and what it can do for their business.

Fashion designers Ngali’s Denni Francisco and Micky in the Van’s Estelle Michaelides and milliner Melissa Jackson, are working to expand and reimagine their labels and showcase their collections by using VR technology.

They also shot immersive 360-degree films to feature their inspiration alongside their own pieces.

Milliner Felicity Northeast and Maude Studio accessory designer Courtenay Stolz are employing AR technology to find ways for global audiences to explore fashion in 3D in their own environment. Using filters, similar to those you might find on Instagram or Snapchat, consumers can wear the designers’ items in a virtual fitting room.

The Human Chameleon fashion and costume designer Kristine Walker and Haus of Dizzy jewellery designer Kristy Dickinson are creating digital extensions to their collections, dubbed as ‘Augmented Reality Active’ fashion accessories, which has potential for digital revenue streams such as nonfungible token (NFTs).

This technology enables a designer’s physical item to be expanded through an AR mobile application.

Treat it as a QR code, but instead of a code, it’s a hat or a jacket that becomes animated when activated.

“This AR activation will definitely boost my brand's awareness, sales and hopefully a deep dive into the world of tech,” Dickinson says.

An initiative of Creative Victoria and VR/AR studio, Ignition Immersive, the Digital Fashion Incubator has given designers an opportunity to delve into new technology and experiment how consumers experience fashion.

From AR accessories to ‘try before you buy’ to fully immersive virtual runways, the designers collaborated with Ignition Immersive on AR and VR technology to create new work and evolve their brands in a way that encourages customers to embrace new tech when it comes to their sartorial choices.

“We’re proud to support these local designers as they forge new paths, explore how technology can take their business to a new level and share what they’ve learnt with the wider community,” enthuses Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson.

In addition to their own real-world applications, much of the work produced by designers will also be showcased inside a new luxury shopping metaverse or digital space, Semblance World, launching globally at Melbourne International Games Week.

Semblance World is an immersive virtual platform created by serial entrepreneur and Conde Nast College board member Roberta Annan and fashion and retail technology consultant for innovation Badrriya Henry.

The results of all of these unprecedented collaborations will be showcased at the Creative Exchange streamed event, co-presented by ACMI on Friday, 8 October from 2–3:30pm.

Facilitated by leading fashion journalist, Janice Breen Burns, games industry writer, Jini Maxwell and public programmer and video game curator, ACMI, Arieh Offman, the event will include a panel discussion between Ignition Immersive’s Darren Vukasinovic, Micky in the Van’s Estelle Michaelides, Ngali’s Denni Francisco and Maude Studio’s Courtenay Stolz, followed by an in-depth interview with Roberta Annan and Badrriya Henry for the global launch of Semblance World.

Register for the free event here.

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Kenn Anthony Mendoza is the newest member of the iTWire team. Kenn is also a contributing writer for South China Morning Post Style, and has written stories on Korean entertainment, Asian and European royalty, Millionaires and Billionaires, and LGBTQIA+ issues. He has been published in Philippine newspapers, magazines, and online sites: Tatler PhilippinesManila BulletinCNN Philippines LifePhilippine StarManila Times, and The Daily Tribune. Kenn now covers all aspects of technology news for iTWire.com.

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