Digital Fashion // Harry Fisher

Dear future friend, someone that knows what will be.

I have many questions about the future, about a world where the virtual isn’t locked behind a screen, about how we will express ourselves when we aren’t our physical selfs. I am starting to see this future around me but it offers more questions than answers. So with this worry, I’ve made my own answers.

I think about what will happen to fashion when society uploads. Ever since the pandemic, many parts of our lives have moved onto websites, video chats and social media. Fashion is the materialisation of personality, style and individuality. It has been here for as long as we have, through more than just clothes, but for the first time now it is not material. The digital object has become its own entity, functioning with creation, sales, ownership, use and disposal. All of which without ever being touched.

Today we witness the first signs of the de-materialisation of clothing. We are beginning to see digital garments sold online, ‘worn’ in a single picture and shared on social media. Is this what the future looks like? Does this still count as fashion? Material clothing holds memories, personality, and identity. I believe this must transcend into the virtual realm for any future of digital fashion to succeed.

I think about the future of digital fashion because, in my mind, it is inevitable. Technology is advancing faster than we can account for, and without thought, fashion has already moved online in so many ways. I analyse this industry in its early stages, exploiting new technologies to visualise this future that is quickly being formed. Creating my own narrative to see what can be. The social acceptance of digital fashion in my world is a speculation, to analyse the effects of these objects if put into wide use. However, the programs and objects I’ve created are real and very possible, bringing to light how close this reality really is.

Digital fashion brings the hope of an industry that causes less social and environmental damage, but this is still far from being realised. Current digital fashion mediums can lack movement, wearability and an emotional connection. These have become some of the driving factors behind my work. I hope to produce a system of digital fashion that resides with the most important features of material fashion, allowing self expression to transcend to the virtual realm. As all design is future making, causing ripples that shape the probable, plausible and possible futures. All objects, interventions and systems that are created hold the future at stake. And that my friend, is what inspires me to speculate.