With the pivot to the digital, accelerating with Covid, we have found the virtual world to be lacking in so many ways. We crave touch, we crave closeness and connection. Unfortunately, the go-to solution seems to be a linear translation from “real” to “virtual”. This is destined to be experienced as a lesser version of physical, embodied experience. What is needed now is a new language. In the coming months, we will be creating a series of intimate portraits of a range of non-professional models wearing the twenty unique hand-made garments–the “fresh fruit” of an incredible 9 month collaboration with textile artist Loise Braganza, in their own domestic habitats. Our plan is to create a virtual installation with these photographs and limited edition fully rigged avatars wearing 3D scanned versions of the garments. Visitors to the exhibition will not only have the opportunity to see these garments, they can inhabit the avatars, becoming performative elements in the exhibition. In deciding whether or not to “try on” these avatars, visitors immediately confront their own identity and their relationship to gender, sexuality, body shape and taste.
VR fashion has recently become ” a thing,” Forward looking fashion houses like Gucci and Rag and Bone have already begun exploring this. What is missing, of course, is the tactility of these fabrics–the sleek velvet, the squishy pom-poms, the softness of the used satin bodysuit with the hot pink marabou feathers. Our hope is that eventually, we can create a physical installation where this important element can be experienced.
In the meantime, enjoy!