LFW: Martine Jarlgaard’s Mixed Reality, A New Approach to Runway

So far this season the tech buzz at fashion week has been all about which ‘daring’ designer has adopted the ‘see now, buy now’ technology for their runway show. Now with London Fashion Week upon us the fashion tech conversation has changed courtesy of Danish designer Martine Jarlgaard. Presenting her collection on-schedule at London Fashion Week, Jarlgaard, who partnered up with Fashion Innovation Agency and DoubleMe, is challenging the concept of the traditional fashion show.

Martine Jarlgaard London SS17

Debuting her digital presentation at the rather stylish W London Hotel located in the buzzy West End, Jarlgaard’s SS17 collection was presented using Augmented Reality (AR). Showcasing the first ever mixed reality fashion show, Martine Jarlgaard shared, “Technology, from mixed reality to 3D printing, will redefine fashion and has the potential to become the most significant engine of change in the quest of a more intelligent, sustainable and ethical approach”. She continues, “Virtual presentations will become instantly viewable worldwide. 360 degree navigational controls will enhance the experience and democratize the fashion show”.

Martine Jarlgaard

The science behind the fashion show was mainly built around how the collection can be superimposed into a presentation space, so it can appear solid, real and lifelike. The designer presented her collection using Microsoft’s head mounted HoloLens. When worn it allowed the wearer to see and move naturally whilst viewing the collection through a clear lens.

On the experience, FashNerd was invited to participate in the presentation. As we entered the room, we were welcomed by Matthew Drinkwater, the head of the Fashion Innovation Agency. On working together with Jarlgaard he said, “The potential of mixed reality to  transform the fashion industry is huge. From creation to showcasing and retailing, this medium will have a profound impact on the way brands and designers will connect to their consumers”.

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As soon as we put the goggles on, a model appeared in front of us adorning a piece from the collection. I loved that I suddenly had the ability to look at a garment in detail, but was disappointed that you could only see 2 out of 12 pieces on a model who had seen better days. What I also found awkward, during the experience, was that the goggles I was wearing became heavy and uncomfortable minutes after putting them on. Also the screen on the expensive device was rather small but that did not deter us from appreciating the idea behind the experience. Far from perfect and still in its infancy, we could see the potential in the HoloLens and how it is inevitable that the device will most likely play some sort of role in changing the face of fashion retail.

Technology aside, Jarlgaard’s collection was designed for those who appreciate sculptural silhouettes. Understated decadence was the name of the game for this collection. Relaxed and minimalist, the pieces spoke our language, meaning that we were able to appreciate the collection’s beauty. On how it was made, Jarlgaard’s collection was created of hybrid fabric that included organic, recycled, Oeko-Tex certified and Italian luxury mills’ surplus fabrics.

Martine Jarlgaard London SS17
Martine Jarlgaard London SS17

After exploring Jarlgaard’s new approach to the traditional fashion show we predict that it will not be long before the barrier between designer and consumer is lifted. It is great to know that the future of fashion could have customers shopping in a way that once seemed impossible. We cannot wait for the technology to become smaller and more seamless because we know that it will be the only way that mainstream adoption will become a reality.

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