The use of digital 3D-software and design of digital-only garments have increasingly gained ground in the fashion field. Designing in and for the virtual realm enables unlimited creative experimentation, minimization of resource use and investment, the participation of large communities in fashion production, and an inclusive approach to bodies and identities. This phenomenon raises questions about the materiality, tactility, and corporality of professional fashion design practice together with the symbolic and institutional value of fashion designers’ authority. How does digital fashion practice shape fashion designership? The phenomenon of “digital fashion design” has been little addressed in scholarly fashion studies and design research literature, yet, largely noticed by the media. Two ethnographically examined in-depth case studies of digital fashion pioneers, Atacac and The Fabricant, as well as findings of a qualitative survey of 42 digital fashion designers, are presented in this paper, proposing that digital fashion designers are “newcomers”, contesting and expanding the dominant fashion field. They translate the tacit knowledge and the physical garment construction skills of a fashion designer as well as the situated embodied experience as a human being in the virtual space. Designers are feeding their knowledge to the software that, on its part, educates the amateurs and novice-designers about garment construction. When designing digital-only garments for virtual spaces or games, designers are not constrained by the functional, material, financial, and social requirements, but encounter a risk of a gimmicky outcome. Digital fashion designers create quantified representations of garments, containing the same data as the real – possible or impossible – garments. The interplay between the physical and the digital constructs a cyborg designer, working in decentralized virtual, or “phygital,” spaces and communities, designing for the digital twins, avatars, and virtual layer of expression, liquifying the professional, authorial, material, and bodily boundaries.
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
|MoE publication type||Not Eligible|
|Event||Virtually (Un)Dressed: Researching the Body in the Digital Age - Virtual, Online, United States|
Duration: 13 Nov 2020 → 14 Nov 2020
|Period||13/11/2020 → 14/11/2020|
|Other||Dress and Body Association Conference.|