If screenwriters, actors, translators or journalists are afraid of being dragged into unemployment due to technology and artificial intelligence, will fashion designers be able to escape this situation? A year ago, in the middle of Paris fashion week, Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant, the couple behind the brand Coperni, staged a viral event that evoked such a scenario. It showed a dress coming to life on model Bella Hadid, covered in a material applied with a spray that freezes to form a fabric.
In March 2023, robot dogs, thought to symbolize coexistence between humans and machines but actually freezing the audience, paraded alongside models dressed as nerdy Little Red Riding Hood.
The technological touch is barely perceptible for their latest collection, presented on Friday, September 29, in the newly renovated “projection space” of the Institute for Acoustics/Music Research and Coordination (Ircam), in the basement, a stone’s throw from the Center Pompidou. “We wanted to focus on clothing again.explains the couple. Let there be as few distractions as possible. »
Its room, lined with Ircam dedicated to sound research and three hundred moving speakers, becomes an ideal biotope for a collection with a multitude of musical references: a walkman case, pump heels in the shape of a mouthpiece trumpet or a jack plug, a tuba bell in collaboration with the manufacturer Transparent, a rigid corset in gold brass , black dresses or revealing tops with triangles, sleeveless tops with (decorative) speakers at chest level.
Sébastien Meyer said he wanted to design a dressing room “Among students at the conservatory” (Simple jeans, tie-sleeved shirts, sneakers and sportswear in collaboration with Puma) and “serious piano teacher” but perky (nightgowns sewn with 3D printed embroidery).
A strange box, though small, hanging like a brooch, resembling a pager and equipped with a green light, nevertheless plays an important role in the words of Coperni’s founders. This linked pin, called the “AI Pin,” is from Humane, a 250-employee company based in San Francisco and started by programmer and designer Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri, a couple who met at Apple in Cupertino. The vehicle is planned to be marketed in the USA from mid-October. “doing everything a smartphone already lets you do”Imran promises Chaudhri.
Understand: read your messages, sort data, measure your health… All through this little box, using an LED light, which projects images and text that you can read in your outstretched hand. “Our smartphones have already become an extension of us. But AI makes it possible to integrate stronger, better and more personalized tools. “By discovering the Coperni collection, we have confirmed that fashion is the best way to show that such a tool can fit naturally into our lives.”Bethany begs Bongiorno.
PVC turns blue, magenta, yellow, green
“For many, technology is synonymous with industrialization and dehumanization. For me, on the contrary, it is the opportunity to strengthen our ability to feel emotions.”, says Kunihiko Morinaga. The Japanese designer, founder of the label Anrealage, collaborated with materials manufacturer Shikibo.
In a darkened room of the Palais de Tokyo, wrapped in a transparent dressing room, he revealed models in tight white overalls: coats inflated like balloons or jackets crumpled like bubble wrap, all made of PVC. “Does not contain phthalates”I would like to highlight the designer.
Models, often in pairs, stand on stage next to the audience and move around the stage before positioning themselves in the center. The white light then disappears in favor of UV: when in contact with the rays, PVC between large visible stitches or traditional crocheted lines suddenly becomes blue, magenta, yellow, green, like a child enthusiastically bursting with colors.
“Beauty from the Unseen”
“Last season we showed that clothes can change color when in contact with light. This time, I wanted to reveal the beauty from the invisible with photochromy applied to a transparent fabric.”, details Morinaga with his usual poetry. The technology he patented, called “Anvisual”, will work the same way in daylight after the pieces in the collection are put on sale.
Technology and fashion, happy marriage? “ “We always wanted to believe in them living together.”I assure Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer. “Technology can reconcile us with the world: we should not think only in terms of our conflict with the world.”says Kunihiko Morinaga.
“Taste of the World”
Travel, fashion, gastronomy, design: The best of the art of living in your inbox
The truth is that designers have lost their leverage by advocating a smoother, less noisy integration of digital technology into our lives. While in previous seasons their productions had gone viral, this time their performances were met with charitable but more cautious applause… Are you getting used to technology or are you tired of the tyranny of the fashion public so quickly? The technologies involved required more than six months of creation in any case: Humane’s AI Pin required five years of development, while it took Anrealage a decade to find the right formula for its PVC, which magically appears like paint with Shikibo.