Announcing The End To Wardrobe Dictatorships
Who decided who should wear what and who shouldn’t, and that certain garments were off-limits if you didn’t possess a particular set of chromosomes? Was there once a committee that decreed these things?
For some reason we’ve blindly stuck to codes written centuries ago for societies that weren’t ready to question the status quo. Digital fashion is ready. Its creative-tech alchemy has given us the ability to transcend the physical space entirely, and limited beliefs about the acceptability of certain bodies within certain garments. ‘Hands off, identity exploration isn’t for you,’ is a diktat that’s long past its expiry date.
When we were asked to create something for the Vogue Singapore Foundation and its fundraiser to help elevate homegrown fashion talent, we wanted our contribution to signify that digital fashion is accessible to everyone, regardless of gender, body type or size. The one-off couture piece we created, ‘Seismic’, which is accessorised by the ‘Radiance’ headdress, is a genderless garment that represents a wearable invitation for everyone to express themselves freely and openly in the digital realm.
In conjunction with its headpiece, Seismic’s lines and silhouette are inspired by the contours of energy pathways that are in constant motion around the ‘subtle body’, visually acknowledging forces that are felt but never seen. As digital fashion has the ability to behave in ways that are impossible in the physical world, the Radiance headdress inflates and deflates in rhythm to the breath, expressing our innate fluidity.
The de-gendering of fashion, and the use of tech to enable and amplify self expression, are guiding themes that underpin The Fabricant’s creative philosophy. For Seismic, we created our own non-binary avatar to model the garment, taking inspiration from gender non-conforming activists and changemakers within the digital space. There was no pre-existing avatar that realised our aesthetic. It seems digital diversity still has work to do.
For The Fabricant, the digital fashion space has always been about more than trying on new clothes: we can try on new bodies, new ideas, new perspectives, and new lives. Physical boundaries have become utterly irrelevant. As creators in this evolving world, let’s make sure the same thing happens to outdated ideas about acceptable self expression.
The Fabricant gave the winning ticket holder a bespoke fitting of its couture pieces, Seismic and Radiance, on an image of their choice, to wear and share in the digital world.
*Piece originally posted on The Fabricant’s blog: September 30, 2020.