- Words Isabelle Cassidy
In the week that saw the first ever Fashion Week in the Metaverse, we take a dive into the four-day virtual event.
It’s an event that you’d be forgiven for not having crossed your radar, but this week saw the occurrence of an inaugural ‘Metaverse Fashion Week’, hosted by Decentraland. The intention: to turn high-fashion virtual, with more than sixty participating brands, artists, and designers, and serve as ‘a milestone event in the global fashion industry.’ In a world where the metaverse and NFTs have well entered the mainstream, some would say the crossover was only a matter of time. But what does a fashion week in the metaverse really look like?
Decentraland are a virtual real estate company, using its blockchain-based platform to host for the four-day event. I’m personally slightly lost already, but to me, Metaverse Fashion Week seemed to translate into a live and real-time Sims game – with some added Dolce & Gabbana. After connecting a wallet, you’re invited to make an avatar with which to navigate the online world. By the time the event begun, Decentraland’s had gathered an impressive roster of real-world fashion brands, including Etro, Tommy Hilfiger, Perry Ellis, Dolce & Gabbana and Elie Saab. The shows took place, and people digitally attended, but according to one journalist guest, the events were visibly empty. They reported that around 250 people had signed up for the Dolce show, and only 90 for Philipp Plein.
As well as the sparse attendance, the overall feedback seemed to be of clunky graphics and glitches in user experience. If you’re curious, the site is still open to explore yourself. Be warned, if you don’t have a graphics card – which seems to only be a feature of a large gaming computer- the experience is not a smooth one.
Looking to other takeaways, as an inaugural event, MFW seemed to embrace a direction that fashion, as well as art and culture in general, is inevitably headed. The uptake by high-fashion brands was impressive, and if that’s anything to go by, it’s likely that this event is just the beginning.