The first-ever fashion week Metaverse Fashion Week just took place in Decentraland. And it happened right after Crypto Fashion Week, so you can imagine we’ve had our eyes glued to the screen for these ones. Scouring the events to soak up all the digital fashion innovation.
The events were designed to be a complete fashion week experience, from catwalks to panels -even after parties- and accessible to the public. We spotted some thrilling runway and backstage parallelisms between both events, are these then the trends in digital fashion? But first, let’s have a quick recap of the digital fashion weeks.
Crypto Fashion Week (CFW) amazed us in 2021 and this year has been no different. The creativity demonstrated by the participating designers is off the charts. Throughout the 2022 show, they’ve stepped up their game with their theme be like water, and we all felt in our element. We can’t help but immediately identify the underwater trend, very in line with our own NFT Streetwear collection TC2171 which we released in September last year.
Just watching the show in itself was inspiring. Virtual models started out camouflaging underneath the water, only to emerge from it as the runway began- or in this case, maybe we should say water-way? In any case, the duality of the underwater-overwater setup complemented the theme splendidly.
Metaverse Fashion Week 2022 (MVFW) was held for the first time this year in Decentraland, and we have to admit that the hype was noteworthy. UNXD Luxury District opened its digital doors on the second day, and this was just the tip of the iceberg.
Although there were some minor technical issues with the music and the server, we should say that Decentraland acted as a proper host city by offering numerous activities to guests. There were many events in several locations, from Kollectiff Catwalk for runways to CrashLabs for panels. There were also various grand openings, such as the Parcel-MetaParty Community Precinct, which focused on celebrating Decentraland’s creator community.
And the runways, oh the runways… What can we say about the runways? Well, we got the feeling that the digital clothing we saw had a soul. They were designed specifically for the digital realm, to be displayed through and elevated by a screen, rather than consisting solely of digital copies of physical products. Every digital collection seemed like it was shaped with a specific purpose in mind, highlighting the creative freedom of the digital environment.
Designers and digital fashion brands alike powerfully stood as a fashion declaration with the event, showing all the world that digital fashion won’t be simply the numeric version of traditional fashion. It will have its own rules. It will be its own game.
Now that we are on the same page let’s dive into the trends that prevailed on the virtual runways.
Diversity Agenda On Steroids
Throughout history, the fashion industry transformed itself to be more inclusive and representative of the population. Nowadays, we can see that diversity has become one of the runway’s central values. We think digital fashion will take this agenda to the next level.
In digital shows, models had a silhouette that alluded to the human form. Understandable since it is the most efficient and practical way to show us, humans, the actual designs. Still, they weren’t exactly humans. We saw many meta-humans rocking the garments and animal-human hybrids working their power poses away.
We believe that the wide range of diversity was the fruit of some changes in overall mentality within society. Firstly, it seems that society -at least the Metaverse community- is finally ready to accept the universality of beauty without any standards and who knows, maybe society is also one step closer to collectively accepting the richness of diversity. We’re getting there people, slowly but surely.
Secondly, we think the limitless possibilities of creative expression encouraged designers to experiment with new looks. This fact is evident when looking at the designs. Moreover, it triggered a domino effect, influencing the choice of models.
Representation Of Global Digital Fashion
The fashion industry was synonymous with notorious exclusivity back in the day. This limited access did not just concern the models but also the designers. It’s not the current case anymore because the fashion industry started to open its metaphorical doors to talents worldwide, but we expect virtual fashion week to be seemingly more progressive, due to the high representation opportunity it brings with it.
Diversity wasn’t only represented on the runway, it was also present backstage. For both events, designers came from here, there, and everywhere on Earth only to represent the true global fashion. We agree that being a purely-digital event encouraged the participation of international designers. Still, we can’t deny the factor played by the inherent globalisation of the Metaverse, we are a digital community regardless of our physical location.
Dynamic Patterns As Fashion Statement
The META WAVE BOOTS have already sold, but you still have the chance to own the incredible META SPUME GOWN by @THEINJURYBRAND x REAL PARENT via @dressxcom ✨https://t.co/RB9vITztIs pic.twitter.com/G1uSbrIkFO— CRYPTO FASHION WEEK (@cryptofashionwk) March 24, 2022
We talk a lot about how digital fashion can broaden one’s horizon because of the high amount of creativity it uses. However, designing a digital item isn’t only about creativity; it also requires extra knowledge, especially about the fabric, patterns, and their interaction.
According to Happy Finish’s Creative Director Alex Lambert, in order to successfully adapt the properties of real-world fabrics to the digital realm, existing knowledge about fashion is crucial. He also states that adding tech capabilities into this mix will make the end-result fashion-wise significant. However, why is this important? Well, it matters simply because this dual-knowledge constructs the foundation for the second trend that we spotted.
We must admit that digital design favours a progressive mind because technology enables the designers to control the movement of the garments or the brightness of the colours, and the best part is: they can change anytime! We can’t replicate dynamic patterns with any physical item to create a garment, so we believe digital fashion has claimed its territory for this fresh trend.
Bringing Nature To Digital Environment
These two digital fashion weeks have prioritized environmental causes in various vital ways. There were panels on sustainability at both events that spoke on theoretical knowledge of this issue. Furthermore, nature had a bigger role yet.
We were happy to see Crypto Fashion Week joining us in the mission to save coral reefs and ocean health. Who says the digital world can’t help save the physical world? We know it can, and apparently so does Crypto Fashion Week.
We could feel the theme be like water throughout the show, not only because of the garments they presented but also thanks to the marine setup. As we got closer to being like water, we began to empathize more with the harms of climate change. Hence, just as TNC did with TC2171, the show acted as a warning about rising sea levels.
Smashing Hierarchies In The Fashion Industry
We have all heard the term VIP fashion week experience many times. There are many perks that come with the label. From attending after-parties to sitting on the first row, the preferential treatment is notable. When Metaverse Fashion Week adapted this tradition to the digital fashion week, this once-exclusive experience became available for everyone because they kept in mind the Metaverse premise: community over existing hierarchies.
We believe that the idea of decentralization influenced this decision. But how? Because if the community wants the Metaverse to belong to everyday people, those people should be the ones who experience the events from the front row. Metaverse Fashion Week did an impressive job on this; they didn’t replicate but rather adapted the fashion event formula.
Given how new these events are, essentially only just coming into existence, we expected few technical issues or disturbances to take place, but in general, we thoroughly enjoyed both Crypto Fashion Week 2022 and Metaverse Fashion Week 2022. Now that digital fashion has two influential events under its belt, we can expect a future in fashion increasingly permeated by digital fashion triumphs in the creative sector. Who knows, maybe even in other virtual worlds or even as a complete fashion month!