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Getting the call
In their second year of studies, students at the Institut Français de la Mode (IFM) are tasked with designing their own collection. For the specialists in accessories—bags and shoes—this means working in collaboration with specialists, such as artisanal Italian leather-workers who can help make their concepts a reality.
For the first time students were asked to add a digital accessory to their collection, taking a first step to exploring virtual fashion. They needed an expert in the metaverse and digital design, so they came to Stage11.
“In this first stage of an ongoing collaboration with IFM and Paris Fashion Week®, our aim is to help the designers of tomorrow unlock the vast potential of digital fashion and the immense opportunities within the metaverse.”
-Jonathan Belolo, founder and CEO, Stage11
Teaching digital fashion
Our CTO Olivier Ozoux flew to Paris to give the students an introduction to 3D digital design, NFTs and how the metaverse can empower creators.
He led the students in workshops about how the virtual world can set their imaginations free to create garments unbounded by physical constraints. They explored how digital natives will use virtual fashion to express their identity in digital space and predicted that digital clothing will contribute to a future of fashion which is more environmentally sustainable, allowing the design and purchasing of garments to be based purely on digital designs, so only fashion that’s already sold will be manufactured, eliminating waste.
“These students will shape the 3D realm of tomorrow. We wanted to remind them that in the digital world they can let go of all physical constraints. They can really take liberties and focus on the concept.”
– Olivier Ozoux, CTO, Stage11
The master students majoring in accessories began work on concepts for their designs. They met regularly with Olivier to refine their ideas, which varied dramatically in aesthetic and theme. Many were inspired by their own personal histories, such as a student who wanted to reference the blend of tradition and modernity in her hometown of Shanghai.
Others focused on the possibilities of experimenting with texture in digital space, building objects which looked metallic but behaved like organic, gelatinous substances. Then there were deeply conceptual works, such as a bag that can transform into a tent, facilitating private conversations in the metaverse.
Building the fashion show
The design and art teams at Stage11 brought the digital accessories into high-definition focus by rendering them in Unreal Engine 5, and created a virtual fashion show which debuted at Paris Fashion Week.
Our art director Victor Bonafonte created four fantastical environments based on reimaginings of a core workroom at IFM headquarters. One envisions a space overgrown with trees, another is bisected by boulders and a burbling stream. Other designs are presented in a grungy science-fiction environment, and a final room imagines how fashion might be displayed in a space without gravity.
While accessories often struggle to occupy center-stage on real-life runways, a digital presentation can keep them in the spotlight, using an experimental approach halfway between a catwalk and an art gallery.
“We wanted viewers to jump through these really cool environments with a simple glitch in the system, aligning with Stage11’s goal: building a metaverse”
– Victor Bonafonte, Art Director, Stage11
Given that this was an entirely digital show, we needed the perfect soundtrack to bring the virtual creations to life and lend our film energy. For this we turned to esteemed composer Petri Alanko, who has composed music for hit games including Control and Alan Wake. His bespoke soundscape gave our visuals both the grandeur and the high-voltage energy that they deserved.
“The music came to life because of the unique items the students created. The beauty and the presentation of them flowed into the DNA of the soundtrack. They inspired me to create music with an atmosphere from “elsewhere”, to transport viewers into a dimension that could probably never exist.”
– Petri Alanko, Composer
Our AR filter
We still wanted to give audiences at home a way to get closer to the students’ impressive designs, so we hit up our digital creator Lucas Guzman to create an AR filter for Instagram which would allow anyone to experience the designs through a portal in their own homes, promoting our belief that mixed reality will be a core component of the metaverse. You can try the AR filter on Instagram opening this link using your mobile.
The IFM X Stage11 digital accessories opened on February 28th as part of the Paris Fashion Week Official Calendar. As the partnership continues, Stage11 will keep promoting the dazzling potential of the metaverse, not just as a platform for branding but as an opportunity to expand the horizons of design and creativity.
For the media
For more infomation including the Press Release and our Press Kit head to our Media section.
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