An Extremely Online dress
Move aside AR face filters and CGI influencers, it’s all about digital fashion now. The world’s first digital blockchain dress has just sold for $9,500 at an auction at the Ethereal Summit in New York.
Called “Iridescence”, the virtual garment – auctioned on the Ethereum cryptocurrency blockchain – was made by Dutch startup The Fabricant, in collaboration with net artist and creator of everyone’s favourite futuristic face filter Beauty3000, Johanna Jaskowska, and Dapper Labs (not to be confused with Dapper Dan), the team behind online feline phenomena Cryptokitties. Using a combination of 2D garment pattern-cutting, 3D design, and rendering software, the hyperreal haute couture clothing item, much like Jaskowska’s glossy, artificial face filter lewks, appears to shimmer and float in mid-air – online, that is.
With the line between the real and virtual becoming ever-increasingly blurred and the crypto collectibles market worth over $200 billion, it’s unsurprising that virtual fashion is now a thing – just look at the success of VR influencers like Lil Miquela and Blawko22. “Global brands in the real world are vying to enter the digital-only fashion space to forge deeper engagement with Gen Z consumers,” says Dapper Labs in a statement. But how does the digital clothing actually work? Well, apparently, the owner of the AR dress has 28 days to provide an image of themselves wearing the piece so that the creators can custom tailor it to their proportions. As the one-of-a-kind garment is also a blockchain digital asset, it doubles as both an item of virtual clothing and as a cryptocurrency. Think of it as a long-term investment.
Recently, Norweigan company Carlings debuted the Neo-Ex collection, in partnership with AI influencer Perl, that lets influencers pick a look from the 19-piece collection and for a small fee and have it digitally ‘fit’ on them by digital 3D designers. Once fitted, the image is sent over, ready for your IG.
Given fashion’s ever-evolving transition to sustainability, it can sometimes feel like the only option is to buy second-hand or now, go digital, I suppose.