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Fashion Metaverse: Paris Fashion Week 2022

While the 4th of July was being celebrated across the Atlantic, in Paris, it was all about the beautiful outfits! Dior, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Iris van Herpen… the French capital once again hosted the greats of fashion.

It opened on Monday with the Schiaparelli show. The collections designed by Daniel Roseberry, the American couturier, have fans like Beyoncé and Jill Biden. On the same day, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs also hosted an exhibition of Elsa Schiaparelli’s life work.
Perhaps unprecedented in the history of fashion, several of the dresses on the catwalk were featured in the exhibition, entitled “Shocker! The surreal world of Elsa Schiaparelli.” Here, fashion enthusiasts can admire classics such as the black velvet coat with drawer-shaped pockets, a reference to the “Bureau Drawer” suit that Schiaparelli made with Salvador Dalí in 1936, or the velvet coat with a trompe l’oeil neckline inspired by her collaboration with Jean Cocteau.

This time, Dior designer Maria Grazia Chiuri has put glamour and sequins aside and thrown herself into the craft of needle and thread, using elaborate, folkloric floral embroideries in her haute couture offerings for the autumn-winter season. “It’s really a project with the idea that art and craft are on the same level,” Chiuri said. Ukrainian artist Olesia Trofymenko filled the show space in the garden of the Rodin Museum with artworks, towering photographs of landscapes covered in embroidered flowers that outlined the figures of the people who were there. Chiuri described the idea as having a mystical quality that people could turn to in “difficult times”. For the retro-inspired designs, Chiuri took into account local traditions and how floral patterns are interpreted around the world. “I think these clothes have something in common. Very often they are embroidered and most of the time they are decorated with flowers. They really have a connection with life.”

One of the most anticipated events of the week was Iris van Herpen’s meta-design. The Dutch designer is perhaps the most forward-thinking designer in fashion today, and has been carving a niche in the fashion world for the past 15 years, reimagining the old-world charm of couture to show how technology can and will transform the way we dress in the virtual fashion world of the future. He started experimenting with 3D printed garments as early as 2009, and now almost all his designs start as computer models. “All the 3D printed clothes we make are digitally designed first, so they’re basically ready for the metaverse. My heart is in dressmaking. For me, technology is a tool that allows us to push the craft forward. This time the collection is also very future-oriented, inspired by post-humanism, the transformation of identities, the meta-reality, but also by hyper-reality, where digital and physical reality become indistinguishable.”