Why Are Designers Treating 3D Like It’s A New Technology?

Fashion presentations are probably the most exciting things we get to see all year. Real clothes on real models walking past us in real time — what could be more thrilling? Apparently, the answer is fake 3D and digital renderings of those very real things.

The New York Times reports that designers and fashion week planners are getting more and more wrapped up in 3D technology, which they believe is some kind of new and exciting thing that will allow them to stay ahead of some imaginary curve. From where we’re sitting, the technology really doesn’t seem like it’s changed all that much since we saw Honey I Shrunk The Audience at Epcot when we were 5, but that’s neither here nor there to marketing people.

Norma Kamali is convinced enough of 3D that she’s presenting her next collection in a 3D film format. Custo Barcelona was going to create dresses with a 3D print, but decided not to “when it became clear that no one beyond the front row would be able to make them out.”

So does it make sense for designers to hop full force on the 3D bandwagon? Is it actually going to make an impact on anyone’s business? Nicola Formichetti, the creative director for Mugler, plans to have a digital rendering of a jacket displayed on a digital rendering of his muse, Zombie Boy, at his Fashion Week pop-up shop in New York. But it turns out that he’s not actually going to sell that jacket.

“Of course we can make that into a product, but I’m kind of excited for the idea that it doesn’t actually exist in the physical world,” he said. “It’s not about a product or a T-shirt. It’s about a new idea.”

Uh huh. Well. Just because an idea is new doesn’t mean it’s smart.


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