Download your Garments & Upload your ‘Digital Me’.

Fashion today is at the crossroad of embracing both virtual and physical experiences. And which one will prevail? Well, that is for the future to unveil. Or maybe we are already in the future…

With the concept of having our clothes sent via email, meaning receiving tailor-made 3D digital garments and accessories for our virtual avatars, or simply put the ‘digital me’ in our inboxes, rather than acquiring them in a store we are actually there. Digital fashion is here, and it is here to stay and transform the industry as we know it.

Primarily digital fashion bedazzled the gaming sphere, but nowadays its alluring puissance is all around us. Fashion’s digital imprint is largely highlighted with the notion of our predominant presence in the virtual rather than in the physical world that furthermore enhances our impulse to dress up our virtual avatars. While the union of fashion and gaming universes and the gamification of fashion might solve the puzzle, they can also take us to the center of the maze where the virtual representations are saturated with signs concerning the idea of transcendence, overcoming the fashion’s embedded beauty criteria, and suggesting an impeccable masquerade. On the virtual stage one can be immortal.

DREST – The world’s first interactive luxury styling game

To simulate an immersive experience today’s fashion borrows from the know-how of the gaming industry regarding the collective experience, mimicking reality, and the plot twist. And virtual doppelgangers have an even higher impact. The sentiment that our virtual lives become more prominent than our physical lives resonates with our desire to escape this reality. We witness blurred boundaries between games, social communities and fashion. Digital apparel helps in crafting digital identities and functions as a social currency to connect. The virtual world is now a new outlet for fashion.

The Fabricant X Toni Maticevski designed the Animator Overcoat, a unique virtual haute couture – unisex “digi-couture” referencing the 1999 science-fiction film The Matrix

In parallel, the renaissance of digitalization in fashion leads us closer to attaining significant progress in shaping a sustainable approach. It narrates ideas of transformation, highpoints the relevance of sustainability, and shapes the trajectory of the fashion industry towards embracing digital clothes, digital environments and digital humans. Looking fashionable within a digital environment is as poignant as ever, and the growing trend of digital fashion not only allows a person to change their digital persona based on their physical background, but it also allows a person to create a digital persona within a digital world. In a way, it summons us on a rendezvous with the virtual selves and virtual otherness in a virtual environment. Fashion tech pioneers create sartorial attire for our avatars, and by doing so they invite us to explore our digital fashionable identities, and upload ourselves to another level of existence.

THE FABRICANT X digital artist Teresa Manzo’s collection “Re-veil” referencing historic headpieces and questions their original use as garments to conceal identity and their role as a statement piece in the digital world

Auroboros, the London brand that creates clothing that grows organically on the body inaugural ‘Biomimicry’ RTW Digital-Only Collection at London Fashion Week’s DiscoveryLAB 2021 by the British Fashion Council and in partnership with the Institute of Digital Fashion. The collection is available for digital dressing exclusively at DRESSX, the largest fashion multi-brand store of digital collections

Currently, fashion broadcasts persuasive rhetoric towards omnipresent digitalization, avantgarde metaverse for the digital fashionistas and their avatars, and NFTs for signature attires amidst the notion of estrangement that still surrounds the concept of augmented reality. In fashion terms today it can be translated as a utopian island, a place that augments yielding “phygital” experiences. Having phygital presence entails fusing digital with physical experiences in an immersive setting that is the right formula for the fashion industry at the moment. This hide-and-sick game of the real vs. digital identities in the virtual landscape translates to an ‘opium den’ of the 21st century. But this is a plot for another travelogue. For now, let’s stay alert on how digital fashion will embellish this one.

Kristina Gligorovska