As incredible as it may seem, digital fashion has grown so much that it already needs its own fashion week with all that entails: from shows and presentations of new collections to public conferences and parties with real DJ. The first-ever Digital Fashion Week took place March 23-27 at Decentraland, a decentralized virtual social platform on the Ethereum blockchain.
Previously, Jonathan Simkhai presented his collection in Second Life just before New York Fashion Week. After the show, evening wear skins could be purchased from NFT to dress up user avatars in Second Life.
Decentraland also hosted the first full-fledged fashion week in history, which lasted five days. On the first day Selfridges launched a store where NFT of the Real Exhibition currently being held in London was showcased – the future of Victor Vasarely’s work and the influence he had on his contemporary Paco Rabbane called UNIVERSE. Players can purchase NFT dresses as well as artwork from the Vasarely Foundation.
The second day
During the second day of Metaverse Fashion Week (MVFW), there were numerous panel discussions, modeling workshops, interviews, the opening of the UNXD Luxury District and mini-games. After all, we’re in the gaming space. And, perhaps the most important parts were two shows from Dolce & Gabbana and Philip Plein, because that’s why gamers and fashionistas alike paid attention. at MVFW.
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Decentraland’s graphics immediately sparked questions from many Instagram users who commented on the brands’ posts on MVFW. Decentraland was launched in beta in 2017 and many creators questioned the quality of the graphics, working with what they had. Due to the quality, the shows looked ridiculous, forcing brands to only post images of skins that could be purchased in-game. For example, Dolce & Gabbana chose cats with glasses and hairstyles as digital models. Their show took place in a virtual room with a circular podium and flowers.
Each cat had its own style and the collection echoed the real show of the brand, both in the scenography and in the skins presented. This season, D&G fans will fall into Metaverse logomania and sport animal prints, puffer jackets, voluminous shoulders and sunglasses, beaming with happiness.
Philipp Plein held his show with a huge skull, noting the symbol of the brand. The skull opened and its tongue uncoiled to showcase the models parading in the parade. Philip Plein fans in this metaverse season should wear bright goggles or breathing masks, helmets with cat ears, down jackets, wings and bathrobes.
On the brand’s website, prices for skins sold right off the runway started at $1,500 for Moon $urfer and went up to $15,000 for Platinum $urfer. These skins come with a special treat: a small skeleton sitting on the shoulder – presumably to justify the cost.
After the show, everyone was invited to a party where Plein streamed in from his home to join the party, bragging on his Instagram Stories that his clothes were featured in the Metaverse for the first time. The designer wore his brand’s custom skin: a helmet with cat ears. It’s clear that Metaverse fashion loves cats.
Additionally, many brands have opened digital stores in the Metaverse. In the Luxury District, shoppers could find Dolce & Gabbana and Philip Plein, but also the luxury watch boutique Jacob & Co and a Hèrmes Birkin bag boutique. Are there any other ways you can show off your status in the metaverse other than a Birkin and a watch?
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Jacob & Co launched “Astronomia Metaverso,” a collection of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that includes eight watches, one watch for one planet in the solar system. “The watches for the five planets closest to the sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter) were produced as unique physical watches (which include an NFT of the watch), while the three outermost planets (Saturn , Uranus, Neptune) split into several numerical-only variants.
The third day
On the third day, there was an Etro fashion show and a presentation of the Dress X collection. The Etro show was the biggest failure of all MVFW, because the style of the average avatars in poor clothes with Buta brand patterns was enough for a digital collection in the Metaverse. The show took place at the same location as Dolce & Gabbana, but with less special effects and not enough glitz and flair.
Audience behavior was far from perfect – many users were rushing near the stage, spoiling the show. It was clear that the organizers had no technical restrictions to prevent this, or it was not planned. Fans didn’t like the show and tore up the presentation of the collection.
The fifth day
On the last day, there was a presentation from Estée Lauder, the first cosmetics brand that performed brilliantly in the Metaverse. They showed off a product that gave Avatars a golden glitter veil, which looked amazing. As a smart branding move from Estée Lauder, it offered gold glitter for free – users were happy and their avatars sparkled.
There was also a Dundas brand parade with dresses with ties and sequins coming out of your avatars. In fact, there was nothing particularly noteworthy: it repeated the physical collection, playing with the concept of dressing yourself. Now users can dress up their avatars. The models they used were more humanized and less clumsy.
The final deal was the Auroboros x Grimes Immersive Experience party with Grimes on stage. It was clear to everyone that she moved much better than the standard Avatars and even better than the models on the catwalks of this metaverse. She wore a snake scale costume and had long braids. It seemed like Grimes had been living in the Metaverse for a long time — she just adapted.
After five days of watching MVFW, it’s cool to see so many brands participating in the new page of fashion industry history, even though they couldn’t predict the outcome of this experiment. The shows didn’t go as the brands expected, as their social media posts made clear. This is because the brands posted the best photos from the show and not the reality of the pixelated avatars and simple looks.
Perhaps the graphics were created specifically to make viewers feel nostalgic, only then to amaze us with stunning results and an evolution of MVFW’s future, even with realistic impressions of the clothes and models wearing them.
It only remains to hope that the next fashion week will be more technologically advanced and that Balenciaga will join the list since it seems to be the pioneer of digital fashion in the world of luxury.
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Inna Komvarova is the founder of the popular fashion channel Telegram Mamkina. In 2019, she left her position as head of industrial sales at a major climate company and began working full-time in fashion media.