Art and Exploration, Business in Virtual Worlds, Collaboration, Identity and Expression, Second Life

Models Move from Catwalk to Virtual Runway and Back Again

Fashion has many times been on the cutting edge… not just literally, but in terms of technological advances. A couple of recent items caught our eye that place the fashion industry squarely in the cross hairs of virtual world innovations.

First, ChipChick reports on a slew of Intel breakthroughs that will help in the fields broadband access, home energy management and shopping. Another item of note is the collaboration between Intel and the Fashion Research Institute to create fashion-specific virtual worlds featuring ‘model bots.’ Known as Shengri-La, the institute, featuring its Virtual Runway, was launched this month, and is intended as a “24/7 on-demand 3D runway show service for fashion designers… fashion designers can quickly and easily present their design concepts in an interactive 3D environment that allows designers to cut time to market, save sample costs, and showcase their work to both wholesale and retail buyers.” A selling feature of the Virtual Runway is that users will not have to rely on 3D CAD tools to make their designs.

The second item is even more intriguing. Ann-Sofie Back, a internationally known designer, recently presented her A/W 2010 Collection in Shanghai inspired by her time in Second Life. We found Ms. Back’s blog, and here is what was written about how her new collection came to be inspired by Second Life:

In this virtual world Ann-Sofie has created a second version of herself, resembling her real appearance but improved by buying the walk of Angelina Jolie, an airbrushed complexion, and a flying Boston terrier to accompany her. To make money her character has become a stripper but despite all the improvements bought she is often thrown out of strip joints for being too ugly, especially after being given some free ‘Gothic Lolita’ skin. Ann-Sofie studied the behaviour and style of her fellow players in Second Life. In a world of endless possibilities to create imaginative, unique avatars, most people prefer to adopt and conform, having their avatars look like Page 3 models and uninspired versions of reality TV contestants. These aesthetics make up the inspiration of her AW10 collection.

Some of the themes of the collection include: “muscles and six-packs;” “fringed patches;” “distressed denim;” and “velvet jacquard knits.” Here’s just one of the fashions on display:


(via Burn These Bones blog)



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