As showgoers milled about Durbar Court within London’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, models displayed the steventai Fall/Winter 2018 collection on a stage before them. Alongside the models was a Chinese street food cart and a table of elderly people playing mahjong, highlighting designer Steven Tai’s East Asian inspiration. To add to the environment, a digital backdrop streamed the present scene — the showgoers, models and stage — but instead of Durbar Court, the people and stage appeared to be set in a crowded Macau street. This augmented reality set in real-time was orchestrated by designer Steven Tai in collaboration with the London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency and ILMxLAB. The LiveCGX technology that was used to transform the setting also added another layer to the fashion at the event, as a model performed wearing a motion capture suit appeared on the screen in a digital garment designed by Tai.
The designs were varied and textured, often playing with proportion. Midi skirts were layered with long, drapey jackets, and high waisted, wide leg trousers were worn with cropped jackets. A monochrome gray pairing of the latter with a collared button up appeared like standard office wear, except that it only had one sleeve. For texture, an abstract jacquard was used in several color schemes. A mustard version was combined with sections of nubby fringe on the sleeves and top of a cropped jacket. This style was also mirrored in a longer version done in blue. A pleated floral print dress and skirt also added dimension..
The modesty of the mid-length skirts went well with the corduroy v-cut kitten heels, some of which had contrasting ruffles around the heel. Accessorizing was playful, with some of the models holding translucent plastic bags that revealed bubble tea, fresh produce and Chinese newspapers to go along with the digitized Macau setting.
The effect of the augmented reality displayed how fashion is taking further steps into technology with creative and successful applications. For the steventai presentation, it showed how technology can bring the audience into the designer’s world in a real yet simultaneously simulated way.
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