‘First of its kind’ virtual reality fashion show launched

'The Fabric of Reality' is a new immersive fashion show, launching on July 29 in VR.

fashion show

A virtual reality (VR) fashion show, titled ‘The Fabric of Reality’, is due to launch at the end of July 2020.

The “first of its kind” production has been created by immersive media firm RYOT, in partnership with arts funding platform Kaleidoscope, the Museum of Other Realities (MOR) and the London College of Fashion.

The exhibition will launch at 6.30pm on July 29 in VR and 2D formats, featuring three designers, curated by the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) of London College of Fashion. The designers were each paired with a digital artist to create a ‘Storyworld’, which audiences will be able to interact with in real time through their VR headsets.

RYOT said the experience would take audiences on a journey to explore the story and narrative behind the designers’ collections.

The audience will be able to view and interact with an exhibition room with all three designers’ garments, and each designer’s ‘Storyworld’ – a self-contained universe expressing the emotional reality of the Sculptural Garment.

After the launch the exhibition will be available for 12 months at The Museum of Other Realities, an online VR art showcase created in 2016. It can be viewed in VR through premium virtual reality headsets, such as the HTC Vive Cosmos or Pro.

The three featured designers are Damara, SABINNA and Charli Cohen. Damara, a fashion media practitioner who focuses on “blurring the binary of physical and digital”, worked with VR artist Sutu (Stuart Campbell). Sutu has previously created VR art for Marvel and Disney.

SABINNA is a designer who combines traditional handcraft innovation, and worked with VRHUMAN (Vladimir Ilic), who uses mediums like Tiltbrush and 3D software. Activist and designer, Charli Cohen, worked alongside illustrator Ana Duncan, who has a background in animation, and John Orion Young (JOY), who creates “original virtual muses”.

Head of EMEA at RYOT, Mark Melling, said the exhibition was an opportunity for designers to “tell so much more of the story behind their designs” than what is possible with a traditional show. 

“Never before has it been more important to highlight the opportunities to showcase creativity through virtual events”, said Melling. “We hope that The Fabric of Reality will open up a world of possibilities for the future of fashion and other live events, along with bringing inspiration and enjoyment to fashion lovers all around the world.”

René Pinnell, CEO and founder of Kaleidoscope, said their mission was to become the “beating heart” of the VR community.

He added: “To see fashion talents and market innovators joining forces with top-notch immersive artists makes me confident that the future of the creative industries lies within virtual media.”

Head of the FIA, Matthew Drinkwater, said it was vital that the fashion industry recognise the potential of immersive technologies, and that this show would “reimagine the live show experience and offer an inspirational glimpse into the virtual future of fashion”.

The project is being delivered by RYOT as part of Verizon Media’s broader XR programme, Verizon Media Immersive. Earlier in 2020, Verizon Media opened a production studio in London for the purpose of producing 3D content, including VR and AR experiences.

The exhibition will be available to view and interact live in 2D through VR headsets, and will be streamed on Yahoo Style and HuffPost UK in 2D formats. Watch the trailer here.

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