LFW: Immersive Technologies, The New Narrative For The Fashion Industry

This fashion week season, the partnership between London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency (FIA), Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB and designer Steven Tai is on a mission to rewire the industry.

Yesterday, the global debut of LiveCGX, ILMxLAB’s performance took place at by the stunning Durbar Court within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in central London. It was a collaborative effort between London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency (FIA) and Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division ILMxLAB to enhance Steven Tai’s AW18 presentation digitally.

Fashion Week

The digital augmentation technology event, hosted by the GREAT Britain Campaign, marks the culmination of a 2-year exploration between FIA and ILMxLAB. It is a partnership that has been exploring the potential application of immersive technologies within the fashion industry. “What is exciting about this collaboration with steventai and London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency is the opportunity to bring the stories and worlds that have inspired Steven’s designs to life by exploring augmented live performance as a means of sparking intimate and compelling relationships with the people and characters who inhabit those worlds,” says Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB’s executive in charge.

“The ILMxLAB’s mission is to have people step inside their stories, creating fantastic worlds through pioneering immersive entertainment.”

On their mission, Vicki Dobbs Beck explains that the ILMxLAB’s mission is to have people step inside their stories, creating fantastic worlds through pioneering immersive entertainment. With LiveCGX, artists create their own extension of these worlds by controlling special visual effects in live, improvisational performances with real-time computer graphics. This creates impossible artistic expressions only realised using ILMxLAB’s unique combination of cutting-edge techniques and technologies.

Fashion Tech
Behind the scenes. Photo Credit: NICK KWEK

Those in attendance got to see, for the first time, two steventai-designed garments on digital screens that were driven by a live model and ILMxLAB’s unique LiveCGX technology. The experience represents the first step towards a new type of live performance, one that connects real-time visual effects and human-driven expression. “Fashion is about storytelling,” according to designer Steven Tai. “It’s about representing a concept, to sell a dream, or just selling an idea that is close to the designer’s heart. Having a digitally augmented presentation this season allows us, and our guests, to achieve and experience things beyond our physical possibilities.”

This is not the first time that the Fashion Innovation Agency (FIA) has partnered up with fashion designers and brands to make things happen at London Fashion Week. Known for working with emerging technologies, FIA is closing the gap between different industries through their understanding of the opportunities and the challenges that exist. This time last year they collaborated with Sabinna Rachimova of Vienna based label SABINNA and took interactive augmented reality to another level.

On their latest venture Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency said: “Immersive technologies are leading us to a new narrative for the fashion industry. Imagine a world where you can augment everything from the clothes that you’re wearing to the environment that surrounds you, in real-time. That is the glimpse into the future that this technology offers us. LiveCGX will force us to redefine what we experience in fashion today, allowing for creative possibilities where we are limited only by our imagination. We are thrilled to bring this experience to life at this incredible venue with the support of the GREAT Britain Campaign”.

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Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.