Merging Virtual And Real
Hyperreality blurs the lines between reality and virtual reality and imagination, creating an exaggerated and idealized version of the world we live in. The fashion industry has entered a new era where the lines between reality and virtuality are becoming increasingly indistinct. With the advent of social media, people are using editing tools to create exaggerated and idealized images of things that may or may not exist in reality. AI technology is being used to design collections for popular brands, while designers are pushing the boundaries to gain attention and virality.
As a result, it has become difficult to distinguish between what is real and what is hyperreality. Therefore, it is important to be vigilant while scrolling through social media platforms. In this fast-paced world where anything is possible, hyperreality is becoming the new norm.
Loewe presented its SS23 season on September 30th 2022. It is no longer news but greatly captures the idea of Hyperreality. On first glance, one might think they are trapped in a 8-bit game as the collection plays with the odd look of pixelated clothes. It may not be aesthetically pleasing to look at but is a bold statement as Hyperreality gains traction in becoming an essential part of highend fashion. The pixelated look has been brought to life before as seen with the „deal with it“ glasses. What started off as a funny meme became a stepping stone for highend fashion.
“Cartoonishness is an abstraction that frees us from the constraints of reality.
If you kick someone in these boots they go boing!” – MSCHF
MSCHFs Big Red Boots take direct inspiration from Astroboy. Astroboy is a manga from the 1950s and has been a part of pop culture ever since. The limited boots retailed for 350$ and have been a huge success as plenty of celebrities and influencers have been spotted wearing the cartoonish look. Trying to buy the boots on the after market will cost you about 1.000$. MSCHF talks about the Hyperreality trend and does not shy away from it but rather embraces it, as seen in the product description of the Big Red Boots.
This is a prime example for Hyperreality as the boots rather look at home on a fictional avatar than on an actual human. To simplify the workflow of creating cartoons and animated shows, animators all around the world used as few geometric primitives as possible while still having it read as footwork. This abstraction has been used on a lot of iconic characters such as PacMan, Mickey Mouse or Super Mario.
MOWALOLA “DARK WEB”
“It gestures towards a world in which the two have inextricably merged – a world, there’s good cause to believe, may not be far off.” – Mowalola Ogunlesi
The designer reveals how the collection and presentation simultaneously blurs and highlights “the struggle between man’s desire for self-determination and the algorithmic strangleholds we find ourselves in.”
The intentional use of logos such as the reworking of MoMa into MoWa was a rather satirical commentary on the socioeconomic state of the world, hence the apocalyptic feel
Mowalola Ogunlesi’s presentation was a critical examination of the technological tide and its fickle ways of propelling those already in power. The makeup served “alien realness” as MUA Isamaya Ffrench made sure that skin was looking extra dewy, and worked micro LED sfx on some of the models‘ faces.
Sources: tushmagazine.com; highsnobiety.com; wixmp; mschf.com; manofmany.com