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Steven Tai hosts LFW's debut Digitally Augmented presentation

By Vivian Hendriksz

23 Feb 2018


London - It is no easy feat for any designer or brand to create a truly unique experience at London Fashion Week. While traditional catwalk shows and presentation formats do offer viewers a glimpse into the story behind the collection, effectively conveying the deeper idea behind the designs shown remains challenging. Over the years more and more designers have been turning to new technologies to effectively engage with their audience and take them on an experience-driven journey. Burberry was the first to live-stream its fashion shows to viewers all over the world, while Topshop offered visitors the chance to have a front row seat to its previous shows using VR. Now Steven Tai has taken this one step further with his immersive fashion showcase for AW18.

For his London Fashion Week AW18 presentation, Steven Tai teamed up with London College of Fashion, ILMxLAB and Innovation Agency (FIA) to launch an immersive, digital presentation like no other before. Guests at Steven Tai's AW18 presentation were witnessed the global debut of LiveCGX, ILMxLAB'S performance-driven digital augmentation technology which not only digitally transformed the venue itself, but also pieces from the collection itself. Taking place at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, the presentation included a physical showcase of the AW18 collection on live models, who modeled alongside an augmented digital avatar which was generated in real time using CGI.

How Steven Tai uses LiveCGX to elevate his London Fashion Week AW 18 presentation

"Fashion is about storytelling," said Steven Tai in a statement. "It’s about representing a concept, to sell a dream, or just selling an idea that is close to the designer's heart. Having a digitally augmented presentation this season allows us, and our guests, to achieve and experience things beyond our physical possibilities." Displayed on a giant screen inside Durbar Court, the presentation space was transformed in real time, layering inspiration from Macau onto the physical surroundings. While live models showcased Steven Tai's AW18 collection live on stage, on the screen they were digitally transported to a marketplace in Macau, complete with trees and food stands. At the same time, another model in a motion capture suit off-stage was digitally visible on the Macau-inspired world screen modeled two Steven Tai designed digital garments which transition from one to another in real time.

Instead of seeing the digital presentation control the live performance, the performer drives the presentation, engaging with the audience. Through this evolution of the traditional presentation format, viewers are offered a glimpse into a future where clothing is both physical and digital and can be worn in perfect coordination. "Immersive technologies are leading us to a new narrative for the fashion industry. Imagine a world where you can augment everything from the clothes that you’re wearing to the environment that surrounds you, in real-time. That is the glimpse into the future that this technology offers us. LiveCGX will force us to redefine what we experience in fashion today, allowing for creative possibilities where we are limited only by our imagination. We are thrilled to bring this experience to life at this incredible venue with the support of the GREAT Britain Campaign," added Matthew Drinkwater, Head of Fashion Innovation Agency.

The digital presentation hails the industry's first steps towards a new type of live performance, one which seamlessly connects real-time visual effects and human-driven expression. "What is exciting about this collaboration with Steven Tai and London College of Fashion’s Innovation Agency is the opportunity to bring the stories and worlds that have inspired Steven’s designs to life by exploring augmented live performance as a means of sparking intimate and compelling relationships with the people and characters who inhabit those worlds," concluded Vicki Dobbs Beck, ILMxLAB’s executive in charge.

Photos: Courtesy of Steven Tai

augement reality
Steven Tai