Virtual clothing, digital fashion, contactless couture – no matter what you call it, the gist of the trend remains the same – the future of fashion is here! With the entire world reeling under lifestyle changes due to the pandemic, this new trend proving to be the solution of the century has engulfed the fashion world. But what exactly is virtual clothing, and why is it the best solution for the fashion industry? Let’s take a look.
In simple words, virtual clothing is the amalgamation of old fashion with new-age technology. In this fashion-meets-digital scenario, clothes cease to exist physically, instead opting for a visual representation constructed using 3D software, AR-based (augmented reality) computer technologies.
This interplay of digital technology with couture gained momentum while the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc in the fashion industry. 90% of the fashion fraternity was suffering economic losses with plummeting sales and loss of jobs. Thus, experts in the community came together to harness the volatile potential of the digital era and create contactless couture that paved the way for virtual catwalks, augmented showrooms, and digitally modified clothing to recover from their losses.
Well, we can presume that writer Hans Christian Anderson thought of the earliest examples of virtual clothing in his story, ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes’. In his tale, he pioneered the idea of clothes that were not visible in the physical realm. While the two weavers used their wit to trick the emperor into thinking that only those who fit their position would see the clothes, perhaps the idea was not too far from the truth.
The concept of virtual clothing became a reality in recent times by creating a digital dress called Iridescence. The design was the result of a collaboration between the Dutch start-up, The Fabricant, Dapper Labs, creator Johanna Jaskowsa, and augmented reality artists, who brought together their creative minds and came with a design that broke through the traditional concepts of fashion and gave rise to a new and improved version, suited for a world residing in the new normal.
Virtual clothing is created with the help of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). ICTs have become deeply embedded in the fashion industry and customer experience at three levels of communication.
As soon as the popularity of virtual clothing gained momentum, new brands and companies jumped into the playing field, trying to create a niche for themselves by transforming the old way of designing clothes. Dreams began to become a reality as innovation became a priority. Soon, brands were catering to the sole purpose of providing digital dresses to customers while challenging traditional clothing ideas. Some of the top companies and brands catering to the needs of the contactless fashion industry are:
Virtual clothing is proving to be a revolutionary innovation in the world of fashion.
Because it solves several new world problems by just existing. Some of the significant ways in which virtual fashion is reshaping the clothing industry are:
Augmented fashion and virtual clothing are estimated to have a massive impact on the future of fashion, promising to be the next big trend that everyone will be going gaga over. In a world where physical contact has become a distant memory, clothes will cease to become a definition of man or woman. It will start defining their virtual avatars and digital personas.