GUCCI, Digital Models, and Cyborg influencers
The Cyborg Effect
When we believe fashion shows can get mundane, Creative Director of Gucci, Alessando Michele,never stops surprising us with the unexpected where this season they took turning heads to a literal meaning. The show took place in a sterile, mint green operating surgical lab-like environment, complete with operating tables and surgical lighting. “ Sitting on the rows of plastic chairs, guests became in effect witnesses to the apocalyptic aftermath of a series of surgical procedures that produced the trans-human creatures strutting in front of them.”-yatzers
The virtual landscapes , gaming consoles, and online identities in which millions of people engage with daily around the world has yet been untapped by the reaches of the fashion industry, till now.
Apply the rules of virtual reality whilst breaking down social boundaries as you can so easily do with gaming, and you’re given inspiration to build limitless imaginative creations as shown byGuccithrough their AW 2018 collection.
Theglamourous cyborg show, mixing gaming andmystical fantasieswith surgical tech and futurism reminds us of the futuristic sci-fi action Netflix series Altered Carbon, where one canphysically and materially be anyone as consciousness can now be digitized and stored. One can live eternally wearing different sleeves.
Putting fashion show entertainment on a new level, we’ve seen models walking out of the surgical roomcarrying out life-sized replicas of their own heads down the catwalk. One model grew a pair of horns; another had sprouted a third eye on her forehead whilst others held baby dragons, iguanas, and coral snakes.
Indeed, the blurred lines between virtual and real life continues to erode as advances in technology are made to replicate the behaviour of real life. The day robots take over human kind in intellect and knowledge may be closer than we think as we over consume and use the earths limited recourses.The Cyborg runway implicitly tell us tells us Gucci’s connection with this new energy some may fear: fear of the unknown, fright and cruel intentions, as we slowly approach the post-human apocalypse.
赛博格的形象一直被时尚界津津乐道，如：设计师André Courrèges于20世纪60年代缔造的太空时代，以及前卫派设计师Paco Rabanne、Iris van Herpen等。然而，曾经还从Odysessy身上找灵感的设计师们，现在更愿意贴近现实。
Fashion has always been fascinated with the image of the cyborg tech, taking André Courrèges’ 1960s Space Age ladies to Paco Rabanne, Iris van Herpen, etc. however what was an inspiration for designers from theOdysessy now bears resemblance to a much closer reality.
Lil Miquela Instagram
In 2018, cyborgs are a thing with the birth of virtual influencers like Lil Miquela , who’s gained half-a-million Instagram followers and collaborating with Chanel, Diesel, Mararet Zhang etc...
全球首位虚拟超模Shudu的诞生引发了强烈争议，她其实是不存在的，而是摄影师Cameron James-Wilson根据南非芭比公主电脑合成出来的。Cameron的灵感源自多为女性：“Lupita、Duckie Thot、Nykhor和Alek Wek，她们的美伴随着我的成长，给我带来了巨大影响”€€HighSnobiety。Shudu的走红始于一张涂有Fenty Beauty推出的橘色口红硬照，Rihanna甚至转发了这张图作为官宣，引发了网友们的关注度与好奇心。
Shudu, the first ever digital super model who’s caused strong controversy hinging around the fact that she’s not actually real, but a project from photographer Cameron James-Wilson who was inspired bySouth African Princess Barbies. Cameron’s real-life inspirations are pulled from different women €€ “Lupita, Duckie Thot and Nykhor €€ even throwing it back to Alek Wek, who was a massive influence on how I saw beauty growing up.”-HighSnobiety. Her fame recently started when she rose the attention of Rihanna who showcased her on themakeup line,Fenty Beauty,digital Campaign last March catching the serious attention of fans who didn’t
understand where this new model came from.
Fenty Beauty x Shudu
Is this possibly signalling a potential shift from IRL human models to “perfect” CGI replacements for campaigns? I personally think its possible, but more for massiveOOH campaigns due to the technicalities and time CGI takes to create detailed CGI Models.
On the other hand , *IRL influencers are also starting to be more cyberfamous, each in their own ways; travel blogger Alexis Ren, with 9.5million fan base, recently teamed up with one of thelargest gaming companies, Final Fantasy XV , where they’ve created her own avatar for the game, A New Empire.
Alexis Ren x FFXVMOBILE
On a more niche factor, a clan of eccentric punk influencers such as @Matierefecales, @ryburk , @isshehungy , and the likes have their own expression for cyborg alien infusion. What first appeared to be a fantasy is slowing merging into our reality with fans being enticed into buying clothes /makeup off these influencers.
Michele’s Gucci Cyborg sets the blueprint for a chimeric world of emancipatory possibilities where what we wear and who we are is entirely up to each one of us and no other.
Fashion may not be able to offer much positivity in response to the political dystopia which surrounds us currently, but it can offer a show fueled with fantasy to create a visual representation of our future situation. We loom closer to the days drones and AI flood the catwalk, avatars replace human models and our Instagram feeds are saturated by virtual influencers.
The array of virtual reality like ‘creatures’ to grace the runway at Gucci’s AW18 is a testament to the impact the digital industry has on the world of fashion. It seems a little too late now to fight away the advances in technology, instead it is best we embrace the change to come and use it as a tool to build a better future.
IRL= in real life
CGI= Computer generated imagery
JINNNN Show wearing Eytys shoes and Missy Skins
Wearing Gucci, Moschino, and Sue Comma Bonnie
Photo Source/ 图片来源：Vogue UK , Hypebeast, Shudu's instagram, HypeBeast, HighSnobiety, Gucci Instagram, The Guardian, Lil Miquela Ins, Ducki Official, Yatzer,Alexis Ren Instagram, isshehungry Instagram, Matierefecales Instagram etc.
Calvin Klein 18/19秋冬系列
至美永恒 --Beauty is Forever