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Every Body: Immersive Fashion Design

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RMIT Gallery

344 Swanston Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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What if clothes could be designed in a more responsive way that allowed for personal variations and preferences? Would you value your clothes more if you had it designed specifically for your body?

As part of RMIT Gallery/Goethe-Institut’s Fast Fashion: the dark side of fashion exhibition (21 July – 9 September), designer Kate Kennedy will be running “EveryBody: Immersive Fashion Design”, a short 10 minute Virtual Reality (VR) hands on workshop . This tests if (3D) digital body data in the VR environment has the capacity to engage people with a non-standardized body form to create an interactive design environment for fashion and apparel.

Kennedy is one of nine RMIT School of Fashion and Textile design practitioners in the exhibition's Slow Fashion Studio who are engaged with cutting edge research that looks at new approaches to fashion.

Kennedy is currently undertaking a practice lead PhD titled: BODY OF WORK: Parametric principles for apparel design and development. People who participate in the short 10 minute workshop will provide insights on user experience for her research. It's your chance to get involved with research that aims to make a difference in fashion.

Participants do not require specialist skills in pattern making or garment construction – the research objective is to simply investigate people’s reactions to being immersed with a virtual digital 3D avatar that has the capacity to engage participant’s awareness of body forms. In the VR world you might do anything from pick up a virtual pen and doodle, or, if you have more advanced skills in this area, call up a particular programmed body shape and design a quick outfit.

“The fashion industry prefers an idealised body type that does not necessarily address a diverse range of body types," Kennedy said. “VR technology and 3D scanning offers the potential for new fashion practices to emerge allowing us to better understand that no [one] body is the same.”

“The current standardised sizing does not actually reflect the large range of body types. By allowing designers to view real bodies in a 3D, Virtual Environment, it could help them to re-think cultural, age, and gender stereotypes that have been enforced within standardised sizing.”

Kennedy’s project investigates how working with ‘real bodies’ in an immersive digital environment could help designers to better understand the relationship between body and clothes and therefore cater to different body types. Designers will be able to work with a 3D image in a VR environment, measuring and examining the body from all different angles rather than using 2D standardised templates to create designs.

Photo: Kate Kennedy using the VR system in the Every Body workshop.

About the designer:

Kate Kennedy is a lecturer and program manager in the Master of Fashion (Entrepreneurship) program at the School of Fashion and Textiles, RMIT University. She is currently pursuing a practice-based PhD at RMIT University combining design principles and 3D body scanning data to examine the future of garment design.

Fast Fashion: The dark side of fashion (21 July – 9 September) is presented by RMIT Gallery in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut and RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles, Fast Fashionis curated by Dr. Claudia Banz at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg and supported by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt and Karin Stilke Stiftung.



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RMIT Gallery

344 Swanston Street

Melbourne, VIC 3000

Australia

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