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Studio PMS is an Utrecht fashion collective looking for innovative and sustainable ways to communicate fashion. They experiment with many mediums while embracing interdisciplinary methods as a design principle. Studio PMS formed during their graduation at HKU (Utrecht School of the Arts). At Studio PMS innovation, discipline and sustainability are key. These principles came together into a digital fashion installation where VR, animations and 3D stills are all on display. As digital fashion designers, Studio PMS are attempting to change the way we consume by digitizing the design and production process. We caught up with the studio to find out more.
Designing, exhibiting, and purchasing digitally, challenges and mitigates traditional methods of the fashion industry. In an augmented reality installation Apparel Exsitance, participants are invited to individually or collectively experience digital realms. One can interact with the space by walking, crawling or sitting. The work illustrates how digitization is becoming increasingly humane and integrated in our daily lives.
What if fashion will be so advanced that shapes and materials become self-contained creatures where the human body becomes irrelevant?
In their expression of design, both virtual and physical are experienced in their relevant today: "one cannot exist without the other. What if fashion will be so advanced that shapes and materials become self-contained creatures where the human body becomes irrelevant? This shift in digitization of emotion will be a huge part of the communicative, medical, but also creative future for fashion."
So who is digital fashion for? Studio PMS believe that "digital fashion has the capacity to have a place for everyone in the future. It has many practical opportunities for the production process, but at the same time also many possibilities for artistic expressions."
In our view, digital fashion is a kind of general tool that provides access to the manufacturing and design process in a parallel world.
Virtual fashion offers an absurdity and creativity that are offered through completely different scopes, that traditional fashion cannot. "In our view, digital fashion is a kind of general tool that provides access to the manufacturing and design process in a parallel world."
The creative design process for digital clothing offers "the countless possibilities and the enormous adaptability that the different softwares offer". The studio are always thinking a lot about how these digital silhouettes and fabrics will move. But what does tactility mean in a digital world? ‘In Pursuit of Tactility’ is an exploration into what fashion design could become in the digital world. The possibilities of 3D photography, animation, virtual reality and soundscape offer an interdisciplinary project group that ‘re-defines’ tactility.
We try to ensure tactility in a digital world at all times, and the sensation created by movement is essential.
"We try to ensure tactility in a digital world at all times, and the sensation created by movement is essential." In exploring digital clothing through both sight and sound, what other senses might we be able to experience digital clothing? "By fully anticipating interactivity, it is important to give as much input as possible to all other sensory experiences. Overall, we believe that the value of physical items will change, with sustainability as the greatest good; to what extent is it necessary for something to be there physically?"
When speaking of absence, unlike many other fashion houses, with Studio PMS, there is an absence of models in their exhibitions. A choice since the start of their studio, which "triggered us tremendously to find out that in the digital world, the model could be totally irrelevant.
Now we notice that we are looking for precisely that connection between the physical and the virtual; to make digital fashion an essential part of our existence.
Then the focus would be really on the design, especially at a time when models such as a Gigi and Kendall predominated. Now we notice that we are looking for precisely that connection between the physical and the virtual; to make digital fashion an essential part of our existence."
By shifting away from these traditions present in the fashion industry, we wonder what role does digital fashion could have within digital identities? "The development that you see in the game industry is very interesting; there is a whole group of gamers who spend more money on their avatars' outfits than on themselves. We certainly see this parallel in identities continuing in the long term. Of course, it offers space for self-expression and identity in a different way."
When envisioning the future of fashion, in general, "we hope that people will appreciate the element of time more: time to respect and love their purchases and appreciate the time that is needed to truly innovate. We feel that in order to be more conscious and sustainable, innovation should not be the marketing buzz become anymore.
By communicating fashion through alternative ways, we try to inspire and let people think about the true value and worth of clothing.
By communicating fashion through alternative ways, we try to inspire and let people think about the true value and worth of clothing. This way we try to make the industry less hierarchical, conservative, and less passive towards its audience."
HUBOT: Meet the virtual fashion designer
Is your avatar looking a little dull? Our digital selves call for a digital wardrobe. That wardrobe requires a digital designer. Refresh you pixels. The future of fashion is digital.