With the surge in digital fashion the last few years, from brands selling virtual clothes to Fashion Weeks being hosted in the metaverse, creatives are adapting to the times and experimenting with this new digital environment head-on.
Stylist and creative director Altorrin and photographer Petros Kouiouris recently teamed up on a new, avant-garde editorial with model Coco Rocha where all the clothes are digital. The designers and 3D artists sourced for this project, from Threeasfour to Cooltrede, are known for their innovative works when it comes to this format.
"Attempting to find an untapped storyline that Coco Rocha hadn’t starred in was beyond difficult — she’s done everything and with the best," Altorrin tells PAPER. "With assistance from designer Brit Shaked we realized virtual design was the uncharted waters we were in search of and the journey began."
The shoot sees Rocha at the height of her high-fashion editorial prowess within the context of a purely digital world. Altorrin researched virtual designers all over the world when conceptualizing this project. He said that it was imperative that the designs were not just beautiful but that they also evoke emotion.
"With a digital wardrobe it’s easy to lose the soul of the garment," he explains. "We worked diligently to keep the heartbeat pumping throughout the metaverse spread."
For photographer Petros Kouiouris, this was his first digital CGI photoshoot and he notes that this required different lighting techniques than usual. "This fashion story illustrates emotions and brings feelings to life," he says. "I hope that it continues to inspire many as it has for me over the years. "
Threeasfour, the New York fashion house known for combining technical innovation and couture techniques and was involved with this project, says that they have been fascinated by the challenge in bringing a digital garment into a physical photoshoot.
Rocha was also inspired by the process and has recently been educating herself on the rapidly changing landscape: from web3, to crypto to Chat GPT and beyond. "Something I’ve learned over the last two decades in fashion is that if you don’t move with the times, then time just passes you by," she tells PAPER.
She recognizes the significance of the changing landscape: "I can feel that we are at the tipping point of momentous change, bigger than the social media era, that will drastically change our fundamental relationship with the world," she says. "Every aspect of life will be affected, and specifically for my industry, I think the next five years will bring more change than the last 25."
"That having been said, one of my biggest pet peeves about 2022 was all of this talk about the metaverse with absolutely nothing to show for it," she adds. Every week was a new announcement, featuring virtual fashion that looked no better than the video games I was playing as a 14 year old in 2002, or the outfits my 7 year old created last weekend on her iPad."
She and Altorrin engaged in a number of open-ended WhatsApp conversations before the project emerged. They saw it as an opportunity to seek out and showcase those who are elevating the art of digital fashion as more than a just a gimmick.
"The images are something I’m really proud of, certainly a first for me," she says. "I think they show just a tiny peek behind the curtain of what’s possible in the future. Love it or hate it, digital fashion and the metaverse is not going away. Now that we know it’s here to stay, we might as well make ourselves at home and make sure it’s fabulous."
Photography: Petros Kouiouris
Creative Direction and Styling: Altorrin
Art Direction: Odie Senesh
Talent: Coco Rocha
Hair: Cassie Carey
Makeup: Laurel Charleston
Nails: Stephanie Hernandez
Production: Oddd Creatives
1st Photo Assistant: Lei Alvarez
2nd Photo Assistant: Vasilios Smaragdas
Styling Assistiants: Roderick Reyes, Yan Shabazz
Hair Assistant: Julia DiLauro
Makeup Assistant: Sterling Tull
3D Director: Peter Favinger
3D Digital Consultants: Brit Shaked, Derhi Roei
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