The Institute of Digital Fashion (IoDF), Drag Race star Tayce and Central Saint Martins alumnus Chet Lo are all creatives keeping the beating heat of London alive, challenging what culture can and should be across the realms of digital innovation, performance and fashion design. Now, they've joined forces for Absolut's #BorntoMix campaign to unveil a genderless AR garment based on Lo's staple spiky knitwear.
Since Lo made their debut under the London talent incubator Fashion East, the industry has been quick to take note of their playful, intricately crafted clothes. Shown on the runway on a range of body types in a candy shop array of colours, Lo's inclusive and joyful approach to fashion is in line with that of IoDF, the revolutionary collective who use technology as an antidote to what they describe as a broken fashion system. IoDF designed a digital version of a dress by Lo, available to wear through an augmented reality filter downloaded on Snapchat, which changes colour with a simple clap. Last year, IoDF teamed up with the digital fashion house Auroboros on an AR garment filter for London Fashion Week, and this new Second Skin Couture project is a continuation of their mission to democratise fashion, making it accessible for all through the click of a button.
Aboslut, meanwhile, have a history of collaborating with fashion's biggest names; Tom Ford and Gareth Pugh included. Even the artists Andy Warhol and Louise Bourgeois weren't able to escape the vodka brand, with Warhol becoming the first artist commissioned in 1985 to create a portrait of the Absolut Vodka bottle in what would become one of the most successful advertising campaigns of the twentieth century.
Having previously created a gender non-conforming avatar for Pride, for IoDF it's vital that fashion can be a malleable tool to create identity, rather than to restrict it. The Chet Lo second skin filter is genderless and changes in size according to the wearer, with each spike animated to create further engagement.
'We believe in using technology as a democratic tool for change, therefore when it came to making the “Second Skin” wearable we designed a garment to fit anybody, regardless of shape or gender. Effectively, we are challenging the current preconceptions while providing a more inclusive vision of the fashion future and we’re thrilled to be working with Absolut to launch their progressive #BORNTOMIX series', say IoDF co-founders Leanne Elliott-Young and Cattytay.
Launched at an IRL event at BOXPARK Shoreditch, IoDF staged a catwalk moment with Tayce, one of the stars of Ru Paul's Drag Race UK, and guests were digitally dressed by IoDF to mark the occasion.
You can wear the AR Second Skin look here.