From zero waste to boundless design possibilities, digital fashion has many things going for it. As the fashion industry continues to reckon with its damaging effects on both people and the planet, technology and digital innovation have been advancing to new heights. Leading the charge of fashion, tech and sustainability is The Fabricant, the world’s first digital-only fashion house. With the ethos that “fashion should waste nothing but data and exploit nothing but the imagination”, The Fabricant’s virtual 3D garments are the likely future of fashion.
Enter Seismic, The Fabricant’s digital couture garment designed exclusively for Vogue Singapore. Made with photo-real 3D animation, the trailblazing virtual creation is available for bids worth $50 each for a chance to own an industry one-of-a-kind. Unisex, zero-waste and bespoke, Seismic can be worn virtually, well, anywhere and by anyone. Discover the making of Seismic as we speak to The Fabricant’s co-founder and creative director, Amber Slooten, about the concept and inspiration behind the exclusive garment.
What was the inspiration behind the Seismic garment that you created for Vogue Singapore?
Identity is fluid, and I wanted to focus on that fluidity. Seismic’s lines and silhouette are inspired by the contours of energy pathways that are in constant motion around the ‘subtle body’, visually acknowledging forces that are felt but never seen. As digital fashion has the ability to behave in ways that are impossible in the physical world, its accompanying Radiance headdress inflates and deflates in rhythm to the breath, expressing our innate fluidity. Seismic gives a glimpse towards a future that goes beyond heteronormative, gender binary ideas and explores what garments could be like if we expressed our own fluid nature. Seismic encourages the wearer to embrace their complete self, radiating fully outwards, so they can show their light to the world.
There’s an interesting quote along the side of the dress—what does it say and why did you choose this quote?
It says: “Choose who you really are, instead of the perception you’re trying to put out there”. It reflects the dissonance between the perception we’ve created for ourselves in fashion, where we always need to look like we are more than we are, rather than shining from our internal radiance already. The quote inspires creators and fashion lovers to accept themselves for who they are, without trying to be more or needing to be more in order to be accepted.
What unique elements have you added to the dress that you couldn’t add in reality?
The headpiece quite literally moves with the inhale and exhale, making it attuned to your body’s natural rhythms. The puffy, pillow-like pieces would never work in reality, as they would be too uncomfortable, and would also not keep their shape. The dress itself is cut from a big piece of fabric on the bias cut that only contains one seam. In reality, this would be extremely wasteful, if cut from a piece of physical fabric, but in the digital realm, this does not matter at all, giving you full freedom to create without inhibitions.
“Digital clothes can create an entirely new way of dressing ourselves.”
What do you feel are its advantages over a physical dress?
As a digital-only garment, Seismic has multiple benefits. It’s never uncomfortable or difficult to walk around in (you can still take the metro with it), it does not break or disintegrate, won’t get dirty and does not need to be packed into a suitcase. It can go with you wherever you are in the world. It has a shape that defies gravity. And your identity and self-expression is set free from the constraints of physicality. You can wear your digital couture piece relaxed in the knowledge that its creation has barely impacted planetary resources, wasting nothing but data and exploiting nothing but imagination.
Aside from sustainability, what is the beauty of digital clothes?
Digital clothes can create an entirely new way of dressing ourselves. Materials that are impossible to wear in reality, like thunder clouds or flames, can suddenly be used to create looks that no one has dreamed of before. What would we look like, and how would we behave, if we could change our look within seconds? Would we express our emotions more readily through these clothes; would that allow us to be more connected to one other and to ourselves? If you could be anything or multiple versions of yourself, how would you really choose to express yourself on the deepest level? I think 3D digital fashion will open up creative avenues beyond our current imagination, and they’re all still waiting to be explored. For anyone who interacts with clothing, from fashion lovers to creators, to brands, the digital fashion environment is a world of endless possibility.