“We’re Only Scratching the Surface”: Meet Five Digital Artists Who Are Reinventing the Fashion Show

Since the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders and made mass gatherings impossible, designers have been forced to find innovative new ways to showcase collections virtually. In November, Gucci hosted GucciFest, a week-long mini-festival showcasing 15 short films from up-and-coming designers such as Bianca Saunders, Priya Ahluwalia and Charles De Vilmorin.

Since then, we’ve seen Demna Gvasalia showcase Balenciaga’s Fall 2021 collection with *Afterworld: The Age of Tomorrow—*a cross-platform experience that’s been built using the latest VR capture technology—and next week , the social networking site IMVU host a digital parade featuring Collina Strada, Gypsy Sport and Mowalola, among others.

While fashion has already dabbled in this field (Louis Vuitton and Prada have both dressed characters from League of Legends and Final Fantasy games respectively), the past year has seen a new generation of designers, including Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada, Casey Cadwallader at Mugler and Marine Serre, engage with digital artists seeking to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with emerging technologies.

Here, some of these creatives talk about the new digital frontier in fashion.

Two of the collaborators Hillary Taymour tapped to work on her pre-Fall 2021 video game and film Collina Strada, which premiered as part of GucciFest, were French-born multidisciplinary artist Freeka Tet and the animator Jefferson Wenzel. The latter also worked on Taymour’s Spring 2021 presentation, animating characters illustrated by artist Sean-Kierre Lyons before developing some of those ideas for the video game.

Tet turned Wenzel’s video game into a movie Land Collina and went on to collaborate with Taymour again on his AW21 presentation, turning the likes of playwright Jeremy O Harris and model Ruby Aldridge into Animorphs– inspired characters.

Collina Strada Pre-Fall 2021

Marilyn M. Davis