University of Fashion Blog

Posts Tagged: "fashion trends"

Gaming & Fashion: Two Aspirational Worlds of Experiences Combine

- - Fashion Innovation

(Image credit: Skinvaders blog post)

To those of you out there who aren’t into computer gaming, listen up, it won’t be long now before that could change.

According to two recent blog posts on Skinvaders (a platform for in-game branded skins and digital clothing) entitled, “How the new gamer generation is driving fashion in gaming” and “Why are people spending money on the branded clothing in-game?” Janne Souza stated that the growing popularity of life simulation and casual games has increased the number of women gamers, in fact, women account for 46% of global gamers! Souza also claims that gaming is now the biggest entertainment industry with $180 billion in revenue, and, that Gen Z and Millennials are the most active gamers (Gen Zers representing almost 40% of all global consumers).

Why now? What is driving fashion brands to work with gaming companies?

Souza posits that fashion is seeing gaming as a crucial marketing channel and a way for brands to sell digital or phygital (both digital and physical) collections, as their consumers do not see a border between the digital and physical worlds. Additionally, people are the same in the physical and digital worlds – they want branded clothing or skins in both environments – for their personal and exclusive identity and that gamers are willing to spend on tools for self-expression. Souza also states that the psychology of brands (the brands’ image that is transferred to us) is the same in the digital world as the physical. We want to be fashionable and 70% of young gamers are interested in branded ‘skins’ (fashion).

BALENCIAGA 

So, it’s no surprise that on September 20, 2021, Balenciaga announced their partnership with Unreal Engine’s game Fortnite to further blur reality. 

Do you want the fashion to be real in your game or real in your physical world?  Alas…now you can have both!

Players in Fortnite can now have Balenciaga fashions (or skins) for their characters. Players can also purchase Fortnite branded items on the Balenciaga store, Tees, caps, leather jackets, shirts, and hoodies (hoodies – are already sold out), sizing in French unisex XS – L.

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

(Image credit: Unreal Engine)

In the blending of the real world and gaming, the same models can now be used for both digital world and real-world interactions.

If you are a follower of the University of Fashion blog, then you know that for the past two years we have been covering technology’s impact on the industry: the rise of fashion video games, our 2019 post covering Riot Games’ collaboration with Louis Vuitton x League of Legends, how the fashion industry is moving into the world of Augmented Reality (AR) retailing, Artificial Intelligence for fashion and the use of 3D design software in the design process and in 3D textiles.

It therefore comes as no surprise that the fashion industry is focused on the buying power of the biggest gaming aficionados, Millennials (born between1981-1996) and Gen Zers (born after 1996), since according to McKinsey & Co, these combined generations wield around $350 billion of spending power in the U.S. alone; around $150 billion by Gen Z and around $200 billion millennials. In 2020, Gen Z accounted for 40% of global consumers. What better way to broaden a brand’s generational reach (especially among heritage brands like Vuitton and Balenciaga) than to meet them in their ‘world’?

RALPH LAUREN

Balenciaga is not alone in their attempt to reach and to recruit new gamers to their brand. Other fashion brands are also bringing fashion to gaming. Late August 2021, Ralph Lauren formed a partnership with Zepeto to create a 50-piece digital apparel collection and virtual world. For those unfamiliar with Zepeto, it is a free social media app that lets you create a 3D digital character (called a Zepeto) from a picture of yourself and then share it on social media. We all have friends who have created a personal Zepeto, right?

The 3D avatars in Zepeto can now have an exclusive Ralph Lauren x Zepeto wardrobe. The Ralph Lauren flagship store, along with two other locations in New York City, form the digital spaces to interact with the Lauren collection. You can get a glimpse of this virtual world on YouTube: in a virtual Central Park and picking out a classic sweater at the Ralph Lauren flagship store.

(Image credit: YouTube)

(Image credit: YouTube)

HOW ARE VIRTUAL OUTFITS CREATED? 

For all the ‘on-the-table’ designers out there, you know, those of you who prefer to actually touch the fabric, and draft, drape and actually sew your designs – you will be happy to know that some of the workflow in creating virtual outfits is somewhat the same.  

Workflow

First, the virtual garments are modeled based on real garments, then the physical materials and textures are matched with a virtual equivalent. Using 3D scans (for already physical items, such as sneakers) and Unreal shaders (algorithms that literally add shading to the skins) for the virtual world are created.

Just like in the real-world, from sketch to final product, there are many steps in the workflow.  The key points are:

  • The artist brings the vision and concept and even for all of the 3D technology – artistry is still the heart of design.
  • Just like in the real world, the digital environment is an important consideration to the final product.
  • Fabrics and grains were not exactly the same as in the real world, but virtual equivalents can be found.
  • Different CAD programs have different strengths. Multiple CAD packages will be used to create the final product, such as Zbrush, Maya, Marmoset Toolbag, Substance Painter, 3D scans, CAD data, and Unreal Shader system.
  • There are 3rd party companies that help with getting 2D/3D assets between fashion and gaming. So, you are not alone in this new metaverse.

(Image credit: Skinvaders.io)

THE NEXT WAVE

A scene from the bespoke Balenciaga episode of The Simpsons (Image credit YouTube)

All eyes in the fashion industry are on another new PR/marketing ploy, namely collaborations with iconic TV cartoon characters. During Balenciaga’s recent spring 2022 collection show, the audience was treated to a bespoke 10-minute episode of The Simpsons, in which Homer treats Marge to a Balenciaga birthday gift that ends with the town of Springfield being flown to Paris by creative director, Demna Gvasalia, to model in his show. Since The Simpsons first aired in 1989 and is the long-running animated comedy on TV, its reach includes Baby Boomers (born between 1946–1964) and Generation X (born between 1965–1980), as well as Millennials.  Between cartoons and computer games, it looks like Balenciaga has nailed every generation from Boomer to Gen Z.

Stay tuned to our blog for more info on how you can create your own DIY avatar fashion and avatars from cartoon characters.

Does anyone out there want to comment on how the fashion industry will reach Gen Alpha (born after 2010)?

Top Ten 2017 Millennial Fashion Trends

- - Trends

10 Top 2017 Millennial Fashion Trends

Spring is in the air and as the temperatures heat up, so do the fashion trends. Here is a look at the top ten fashion trends that millennials will embrace for spring and beyond.

Tickled Pink

Diana Vreeland once said “pink is the navy blue of India” and this spring designers from New York to Paris have embraced the femininely sweet shade. But don’t be fooled, although the hue is chock-full-of-saccharine, these looks are anything but girlie. The color palette runs the gamut from soft pastel tones to bold vibrant shades and can be found on everything from chic dresses and suits to the “It Bag” of the moment.

 

Céline (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Céline (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Maison Margiela (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Making A Statement

Forget logomania. Millennials are embracing statement tees as they take a political stance against the unjust. In a throwback to Katharine Hamnett’s political slogan tees of the late 80’s and early 90’s, today’s variety can already be found all over Instagram and on celebrity “It Girls”.  From Christian Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists” version to Sacai’s “Horror Show” motto, these tees are already street-style approved.

Christian Dior (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Christian Dior (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Sacai (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Sacai (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Sporty Spice

Millennials are creatures of comfort as they continue to embrace the athleisure trend. Oversized Vetements sweatshirts were street-style approved this past fashion week and were worn by every fashion “It-Girl and Boy” proving this trend has staying power.

Vetements (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Vetements (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Philipp Plein (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Philipp Plein (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Get Graphic

These stripes are not for the board room. For spring, designers are focusing on graphic, striped patterns that can be found on cool separates for day or night. These bold looks are selfie approved by fashionistas on both sides of the Atlantic.

Proenza Schoular (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Proenza Schoular (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Marni (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Marni (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Jean Therapy

Who doesn’t love denim? Denim is the uniform for millennials, but for spring, the durable fabric is anything but basic. There are so many choices in the denim market from mom jeans to skinny; to wide-leg to cut-offs; anything goes. Celebrities and models off duty have also taken to wearing intricate embellished denim from day to night.

 

Junya Watanabe (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Junya Watanabe (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Dsquared2 (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Dsquared2 (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

80’s

Everyone loves a good throwback, and for spring, designers are looking to the Eighties for inspiration. From Gucci’s one shouldered ruffled number to Balmain’s electric blue suit; these bold looks are dramatic and daring.

Gucci (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Gucci (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Balmain (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Balmain (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

 

Armed Forces

It’s become the uniform trend for millennials as military inspired and utility pockets are all the rage. For spring, the trend gets a chic update from  Marc Jacob’s flirty take on camouflage to Dries Van Noten’s urban outerwear– these looks have plenty of charm.

Marc Jacobs (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Marc Jacobs (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Dries Van Noten (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Dries Van Noten (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Boudoir

Inner-wear as outerwear is all the rage as designers look to the boudoir for inspiration. Touches of lingerie references can be found on flirty bra tops, seductive slipdresses and sexy briefs.

Alexander Wang (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Alexander Wang (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Moschino (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Moschino (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Sheer Delight

You’re so transparent. Designers are making a case for sheer clothing as the transparent trend continues to go strong for spring thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian who wears the trend with such confidence and bravado.

Chistopher Kane  (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Chistopher Kane (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Ann Demeulemeester (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Ann Demeulemeester (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Outerwear

This year has been the year of great outerwear, from cool embroidered bombers to oversized puffers. For spring, the trend continues with Balenciaga’s bright puffer vest as well as quirky silk bombers.

Balenciaga (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Balenciaga (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

 

Gucci (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Gucci (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Paris Fashion Week: Back to the Future, Female Power & a New Silhouette

- - Fashion Shows

At last, Paris Fashion Week! As we all know, Paris is the ‘birthplace of fashion’ – a la Worth, Poiret, Vionnet, Chanel, Dior, Lanvin, Givenchy- all those great heritage brands that we have come to love and respect. And so, not surprisingly, we saw lots of variety and innovation. Let’s take a look at our favorite looks from Paris Fashion Week Fall Winter 2017-18.

Futuristic Fashion

Some designers have gone from street style to space style. Chanel’s collection was a nod to astronauts and the runway was the launch pad! Lagerfeld created this silver metallic belted coat paired with silver shimmer tights, matching boots and headband – perfect for Astronaut Barbie!

chanel-fw17-rtw-

Chanel (Image Credits: Chanel.com)

In a collection she called “The Future of Silhouette,” Rei Kawakubo stayed true to her design philosophy with this amorphous metallic wearable art piece, a real runway show-stopper! By the way, her work will be on exhibit beginning in June at The Costume Institute at the MET, entitled Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between.

comme des garcons

Comme des Garçons (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Dries van Noten brought the future back down to earth with this classic, old-school, oversized, metallic boyfriend jacket. You just have to love it!

dries-van-noten-fw17

Dries van Noten (Image Credits: DriesvanNoten.com)

Playing it Safe But with Flare

Speaking of playing it safe…While some designers experimented with futuristic fashion, others stuck to practicality. For her first ready-to-wear collection for Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri, (by the way, she is the first female creative director ever at Dior- female power!), served up jeans paired with an asymmetric blouse and accessorized them with a beret, for that quintessential ‘French girl’ style.

dior-fw17-rtw-fall-winter

Dior (Image Credits: Dior via ShilpaAhuja.com)

Our favorite look from Valentino makes this artsy-print maxi dress wearable yet chic by pairing it with a double-slit coat and a practical handbag.

valentino-fw17-rtw-

Valentino (Image Credits: Valentino.com)

Homage to International Women’s Day- Think Red

Perhaps in anticipation of wearing red for International Women’s Day (March 8) Givenchy’s collection was all about RED! This look is both a statement and wearable – a dramatic sequin ruffle jacket paired with matching cropped leggings (so I guess leggings are not démodé after all?).

givenchy-fw17-rtw

Givenchy (Image Credits: Givenchy.com)

This red look, by Giambattista Valli, featured ruffles and the very boldest sleeve treatment ever; one that epitomized the #BeBoldForChange hashtag that flooded the Web during the month of March.

giambattista

Giambattista Valli (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Eveningwear Redefined

Red carpet here we come! Paris Fashion Week is nothing if not the place where we get to see some of the most incredible eveningwear. This stunner, by Thierry Mugler, is a hybrid – a cross between a slip dress and Le Smoking (channel YSL). A pagoda shoulder detail and a daring slit…Angelina is gonna love this one!

mugler

Mugler (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Elie Saab’s best look was this deep amethyst-colored dress with a velvet burn-out sheer skirt, accessorized with a matching belt, fur-trimmed shoes and some very, very, French, point d’esprit hose.

eliesaab

Elie Saab (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Isabel Marant was thinking more along the lines of casual eveningwear with this look. These charcoal grey embellished jeans were paired with a ruffle-sleeved shimmery top and glitter socks.

Isabel-Marant-fw17

Isabel Marant (Image Credits: IsabelMarant.com)

Embellishments and Couture Details

We all know that the couture serves as a design lab for designers to experiment, with some design details trickling down into their ready-to-wear collections. This was evident at Balenciaga where creative director Demna Gvasalia, not only played with house codes, but brought a couture sensibility to his fall ready-to-wear collection with this strapless evening look complete with oversized bow.

balenciaga

Balenciaga (Image Credits: balenciaga.com)

At Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton designed this evening jumpsuit, reminiscent of those worn by Cher (designed by Bob Mackie). Burton updated the look with a feather sleeve and hem trim.

alexander mcqueen

Alexander McQueen (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

A Trip to the Zoo

It seems like animal prints never go out of style. This season was no exception. At Balmain, Olivier Rousteing used snake skin to create the most amazing over-the-thigh boots with matching bodice sash. And at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière created a patch-work vest in cheetah printed fur, ooh la-la!

balmain-louis-vuitton

Balmain (left) (Image Credits: balmain.com) and Louis Vuitton (right) (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Gotta Have a Gimmick

Gypsy Rose Lee, one of America’s legendary entertainers, had a favorite tagline- “you gotta have a gimmick’ and at Maison Margiela, John Galliano was listening. Check out this outfit and tell us just what you think. Is it a pantsuit? Or is Galliano, along with Rei Kawakubo, redefining what ‘is’ a silhouette?

maison margiela

Maison Margiela (Image Credits: maisonmargiela.com)

Yohji Yamamoto got into the act with this engineered hand-painted belted coat with matching hose. He completes the look with black lipstick, red eyeshadow on one eye and black on the other.

yohji-yamamoto

Yohji Yamamoto (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Sheer Love

Whether it’s plastic or georgette, this fashion week cycle certainly showcased transparency. Miu Miu’s piped plastic coat teamed with an all over paillette dress, was then topped off with a fur shawl and a fringed headdress. This is sure to be a fashion magazine editorial favorite!

miu miu

Miu Miu (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

How to update a dress you ask? At Stella McCartney, this embroidered tulle overdress was worn over a sheath dress and what a great idea to update your wardrobe?

stella mccartney

Stella McCartney (Image Credits: Vogue.com)

Before Claire Waight Keller left Chloé and headed for Givenchy, she created this sheer, puff sleeved, baby doll overdress paired with a slip dress. So feminine.

chloe-fw17-rtw-fall-winter-

Chloe (Image Credits: Chloe.com)

A Sign of the Times

As Paris marked the end of the fashion week cycle (New York, London, Milan & Paris) a resounding theme remained prevalent throughout the shows…female power! Strong shoulders were showcased next to feminine looks, what a great time to be a woman in fashion.

Cozy Up to London Fashion Week Trends

- - Fashion Shows, Trends

Fashion week in London has wrapped up for another season. Much like many of the wrapped-up models that walked the runways, the trends veered toward cozy, roomy and bundled-up in yards of luxurious fabrics. From stripes to plaids to polka dots and neutrals to neons, London offered a little something for everybody for Fall 2017. Read More

From Boudoir to Runway – Luxury Loungewear is Here to Stay

- - Trends

It’s not that runway fashion is getting slouchier, but comfort has lately become as much a part of designer wear as aesthetics and sophistication.

Lululemon’s yoga gear in the late 1990s, gave way to new fashion category called athleisure-wear; casual, comfortable clothes with the added benefit that even if you didn’t go to the gym, you could still look like you did.

In 2008, atheisurewear subtly gave way to a new trend called luxury loungewear, pioneered by Dolce & Gabbana, featuring nightwear as daywear. Luxury loungewear is all about comfort. And, while athleisure takes active-wear out of the gym and onto the streets, luxury loungewear takes nightwear and loungewear out of the bedroom and onto long-haul flights, the street, the breakfast table and even to new-age workplaces.

alexander-wang-cashmere-trackpants-luxury-loungewear

Alexander Wang

Luxury loungewear may or may not have athletic undertones, but it does have the air of relaxation and lounging (thus, the name). Brands like Alexander Wang and Chloé have taken the tracksuit and lounge-pants and given them a luxury cashmere and silk twist. Other pieces include crop hoodies, pull-overs, slip-dresses and pajamas.

chloe-cashmere-trackpants-luxury-loungewear

Chloé

This new trend is most definitely fashion’s answer to the rapidly changing lifestyle of women (and men). Compared to the last decade, women work more, travel more and have busier lives. Thus, this quick-fashion option is gaining in popularity, especially in the age of social media, where everyone from a Hollywood celebrity to the girl-next-door, documents and publishes her daily life and personal style for the world to see. It is also appeals to the ‘fashion disruptor’ anti-fashion statement driven by Millenials.

Towards the end of 2016, more and more models and celebrities have been spotted wearing loungewear, both at the airport and casually on the street. And judging by the number of designers who had luxury loungewear pieces in their Spring/Summer 2017 ready-to-wear collections during Fashion Week, we can say that this trend is here to stay.

Even fashion houses like Dolce & Gabbana and Dior, which are famous for their formal evening-wear, introduced pieces in collections that look too comfortable for parties! Here is a white suit by Dior paired with slip-ons.

dior-look-ss17

Christian Dior

From Dolce & Gabbana – a loungewear shorts and tee set in an ice-cream print.

dolce-gabbana-spring-summer-2017-ss17

Dolce & Gabbana

dolce-gabbana-spring-summer-2017-rtw

Dolce & Gabbana

Pajama stripes also emerged as a big trend. Here are two of Fendi’s pajama stripes : a shirt paired with track-capris and a satin shirtdress:

fendi-spring-summer-2017

Fendi

fendi-ss17

Fendi

Versace, Moschino and Max Mara added loungewear to their collection with track-pants and track-suits.

versace-ss17-spring-summer-2017

Versace

moschino-spring-summer-2017

Moschino

max-mara-ss17

Max Mara