We asked the viral AI art bot to look ahead to this season’s menswear collections
By now, you’ve probably heard of DALL-E 2, and maybe you’ve spent hours lying awake at night, thinking about the inevitability of our obsolescence as machines gain powers beyond our comprehension. On the other hand, maybe you’ve spent hours lying awake at night plugging weird phrases into DALL-E’s search bar. Nosferatu in RuPaul’s Drag Race. Karl Marx in Seinfeld. That kind of thing. If AI really can become sentient, like that one guy at Google says it can, then why not have a bit of fun with it before it wipes us off the Earth, right?
For the uninitiated, DALL-E 2 is a novel AI system from the Elon Musk-founded research company OpenAI, which creates images based on users’ descriptions. A less sophisticated version created by AI enthusiast Boris Dayma, dubbed DALL-E Mini, is available without the long waiting list. Inspired by programs that generate automatic captions for online images, these programs flip the script, scraping imagery from across the World Wide Web to illustrate whatever horrors your imagination can come up with. Admittedly, the DALL-E Mini results are usually pretty scuffed, like the “professional” AI artworks that came before them, but if you squint hard enough… yeah, it does kind of look like the Xenomorph from Alien in the style of Van Gogh.
Of course, art designed by artificial intelligence always raises fears about job losses in creative fields once considered a safe haven from the onward march of automation. As we mark another milestone in the fashion calendar, however – ICYMI, the SS23 menswear season is a go – human replacement by machines is looking increasingly tempting, even if it means trading in our future employment opportunities. Why waste our few remaining brain cells figuring out what Gucci is up to on the penultimate day of Milan fashion week, or how a post-Gaultier Glenn Martens will top last season’s Y/Project show, when we can get DALL-E Mini to do it for us?
Which brings us to the predictions below. With London’s SS23 menswear shows already fading in the rear view mirror, we asked DALL-E Mini to manifest some viral fashion moments, looks, and collaborations from the shows that haven’t happened yet. Think: yet more iconic casting choices at Prada this weekend, gem-studded gimp masks at Y/Project’s Paris show, and a very special guest closing the runway with Donatella Versace.
For AW22, Loewe enlisted Anthony Hopkins, the iconic face of cannibal killer Hannibal Lecter, to star in his first major fashion campaign. We asked DALL-E Mini what it would look like if Jonathan Anderson continued the theme for SS23, adopting American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman as his muse. The resulting collection offers a more conceptual take on the cannibal psychopath, leaning into Bateman’s big-fit 80s suiting. But wait… is the soft leather of that handbag folded to resemble human flesh? Is the model on the bottom row accessorising with a sickle? With Loewe tending toward high-concept looks and kitsch memes lately, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
After Miuccia sent Jeff Goldblum and Kyle MacLachlan down the runway for AW22, a decade on from Prada’s similarly DILF-filled AW12 show, Dazed speculated that it could be Frank Ocean’s turn in another 10 years, having long been the face of the label. There’s no harm in getting started early, though, and DALL-E Mini already has a range of low-key looks lined up for the Blonde musician.
In honour of lovely footie lad Jack Grealish signing up as an official Gucci ambassador last month, we typed “football kit designed by Gucci” into DALL-E Mini. After waiting a couple of minutes, it spat out the most appalling combination of reds and greens our eyes have ever seen. We’re not going to make you look at that, so then we tried something different. Still, there are traces of the beautiful game, via goalkeeper-green short shorts, shin-high socks, and tracksuit-esque outerwear.
In case you didn’t catch Balenciaga’s SS23 show that shut down the New York Stock Exchange, the gimp mask is back, courtesy of Demna’s ongoing obsession with identity and anonymity. Given Glenn Martens’ proclivity for a kinky catwalk moment, is Y/Project the next stop for squeaky subs? If so, the collection will come with lace ruffs, plentiful cutouts, and gem-studded black leather, according to DALL-E Mini.
Kanye West hasn’t been in many people’s good books this last year, but Rick Owens either didn’t get the memo or doesn’t care, judging by his double date with Michèle Lamy and FoxYe earlier this year. Could a collab be Kanye’s route into Paris Fashion Week later this month? If so, DALL-E Mini predicts it would look… exactly as you’d expect, down to Ye’s Donda-era masks.
Curve models dominating the runway at Celine? It’s a difficult image to conjure up, even for an artificial intelligence apparently.
Longtime JW Anderson fan (and Dazed’s summer cover star) A$AP Rocky is a new dad, with a new album on the way, and a reputation to maintain as one half of the world’s most stylish couple. Still, if he has time to pop over to Milan this weekend…
You already know that Donatella Versace designed Britney Spears’ dress for her long-awaited wedding to Sam Asghari this week, having spoken up in support of the singer throughout her conservatorship battles. Now you’re wondering what it would look like if the Princess of Pop returned the favour, and strutted down the runway on Donatella’s arm to close her June 18 show in Milan, aren’t you? Don't worry, DALL-E Mini’s got you covered (but you’re really gonna have to squint for this one).