On May 22, designer Anifa Mvuemba debuted the first virtual fashion show for her brand Hanifa, featuring 3D renderings of pleated minis and sinuous bias-cut dresses. The show was unlike anything fashion had seen before: No audience, no visible models, just fashion fully rendered in a rich virtual space.
Gayle Dizon, whose company Dizon produces shows for Proenza Schouler and Mansur Gavriel, is certain that new technologies like CGI, 3D design, image capture, and body mapping have potential to revolutionize what a fashion show looks like. “We’ve been exploring a lot of these new technologies that are all kind of rooted in gaming,” she says. “I’m excited about it because we can alleviate a lot of the issues that we face with live physical space,” she continues, citing venues and build-outs alongside the bustle of fashion week that makes scheduling, timing, and seating a major concern. “We’ve been trying to break the standard pattern of straight runway up and down for a while … Now, what I’ve been tasking my team with is: Let’s start ideating on our dream scenario. Where would you do a show if you had no constraints of time, space, or location?” Russo, for his part, says, “what is exciting for us isn’t specifically one alternative or another, but the exercise of mixing options in order to produce the right format for each project, for each client, according to their DNA and their needs … there will be no ready-made but only tailor-made options.”