Published on September 20th, 2021 | by Adrian Gunning

Fashion world explores a digital future at Melbourne International Games Week 2021

At Melbourne International Games Week 2021 (MIGW), fashion and tech will take centre stage as part of a Creative Victoria’s Creative Exchange event on October 8. Bringing together local fashion creatives and global thought leaders, this creative industries event co-presented by ACMI will include the highly anticipated outcomes of the Victorian fashion industry Digital Fashion Incubator and the global launch of luxury fashion space in the Metaverse, Semblance World, supported through a grant from EPIC games.

The Digital Fashion Incubator will showcase the experience of seven Victorian apparel and accessory designers as they explore what digital platforms, such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, can do for their business. An initiative of Creative Victoria and leading VR/AR studio, Ignition Immersive, the Digital Fashion Incubator has given the designers an unprecedented opportunity to delve into new technology and experiment with the way their consumers experience fashion.

From AR accessories in the palm of your hands to ‘try before you buy’ to fully immersive virtual runways, the designers collaborated with Ignition Immersive on AR and VR technology to create new work and evolve their brands in a way that encourages customers to embrace new tech when it comes to their wardrobes.

“Victoria is the creative state and when creative minds from different fields come together, powerful things can emerge,” says Minister for Creative Industries Danny Pearson. “We’re proud to support these local designers as they forge new paths, explore how technology can take their business to a new level and share what they’ve learnt with the wider community.

Three designers; Ngali’s Denni Francisco, Micky in the Van’s Estelle Michaelides and milliner Melissa Jackson are working to expand and reimagine their brand story and showcase their collections using VR technology. Designers will create immersive, 360-degree films that take users into their creative worlds, showcasing their inspiration alongside their own pieces.

Renowned milliner Felicity Northeast and accessory designer Courtenay Stolz of Maude Studio are using AR tech to find ways for global audiences to explore fashion in 3D in their own environment. Using filters – similar to those you might find on Instagram or Snapchat – consumers can try on designers’ items in a virtual ‘fitting room’.

The Human Chameleon’s fashion and costume designer Kristine Walker and jewellery designer Kristy Dickinson of Haus of Dizzy are exploring opportunities to create digital extensions to their collections – ‘AR Active’ fashion accessories, with potential for new digital revenue streams such as nonfungible token (NFTs). This technology enables a designer’s physical item to be ‘expanded’ through an AR phone application – Consider it like a QR code, but instead of a code, it’s a hat, or a jacket, that becomes animated when it’s activated.

Kristy Dickinson says: “It is exciting and it’s all about embracing new technology and having this AR activation will definitely boost my brand’s awareness, sales and hopefully a deep dive into the world of tech.”

In addition to their own real-world applications, much of the work produced by designers will also be showcased inside a new luxury shopping ‘metaverse’, Semblance World, launching globally at MIGW.

Semblance World is an immersive virtual platform created by serial entrepreneur and Conde Nast College Board Member, Roberta Annan, and fashion technology founder, Badrriya Henry. The result of an Epic Games Mega Grant and powered by Unreal Engine, the goal of Semblance World is to empower luxury brands in an age of digitisation, allowing them to create limited-time events, VIP experiences, fashion shows, gamified touchpoints, rentable virtual runways and showrooms, sustainable 3D digital model collections, and educational tools that will extend their reach and provide access to valuable market data.

Roberta Annan says  “The world of Digital Fashion is evolving, and we are excited to be spearheading the first ever metaverse for fashion.”

The results of all of these unprecedented collaborations will be showcased at the Creative Exchange streamed event, co-presented by ACMI on Friday 8 October from 2–3.30pm 

Facilitated by leading fashion journalist, Janice Breen Burns, games industry writer, Jini Maxwell and Public Programmer and Videogames Curator, ACMI, Arieh Offman, the event will include a panel discussion between Ignition Immersive’ s Darren Vukasinovic, Micky in the Van’s Estelle Michaelides, Ngali’s Denni Francisco and Maude Studio’s Courtenay Stolz, followed by an in-depth interview with Roberta Annan and Badrriya Henry for the global launch of Semblance World. Register for the free event here:

About the Author'

Adrian lives in Melbourne Australia and has a huge passion for gaming, technology and pop culture. He recently finished his a Bachelor of Journalism and is currently focusing on games journalism. When not writing and playing video games, Adrian can be found in Comics 'R' Us debating the pros of the DC Universe and cons of the Marvel Universe.

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