Before fashion runs full-speed towards the MetaVerse, there are fundamental challenges to solve – in both virtual and physical worlds.
The first MetaVerse Fashion Week is over, and depending on your vantage point it was either a roaring success or a dubiously half-baked initial showing for a vision that many brands have placed significant bets on being the Next Big Thing.
In terms of brand participation, nobody would argue that MVFW was anything but impressive. Big brands, big department stores, massive music artists, and arguably the biggest virtual landlord (an unwholesome title if ever there was one) were all represented, opening their collective doors to a customer base that seems, on the surface at least, to have transcended the established crypto-centric audience that defined last year’s NFT gold-rush.
Frame the whole affair from that audience’s point of view, though, and the cracks started to show themselves quickly. For an industry that trades heavily in aesthetics, the stylised (read: simplified) art of Decentraland, combined with the fact that the average visitor is probably using an integrated GPU, led to a pretty significant disparity between the level of visual fidelity that consumers want, and what was actually on show.
This is not, notably, intended to disparage the creative work that individual designers, collectives, and studios put into building visual garments. The level of artistry on show was at least on a par with what you’d expect to find in the constantly-impressive world of digital art, grassroots CG, and game character and environment design.
If the fashion corner of the MetaVerse has a problem, it’s definitely not a paucity of talent.