Ahh, yes, we all know of the infamous 12 Unwearable Dresses, courtesy of fashion designer Paco Rabanne in 1966, a collection which launched Space Age fashion into its next stage (or planet). Over 50 years on, and it remains as one of the most iconic collections of fashion's past, due to the use of unconventional materials for dressmaking, predominantly metal. When Decentraland hosted the first Metaverse Fashion Week last month, Paco Rabanne took a recent exhibition inside the real world Selfridges London into the realms of a virtual pop-up. This futuristic portal unveiled the archive dresses from all those years ago, reimagined for fashion's digital future as non-fungible tokens.
Now launching for purchase, the 12 dresses have been digitally rendered with an impressive scale of minute yet realistic details, and can be bought at universenft.live, powered by Selfridges and Charli Cohen. In addition to being available online, the dresses will be shoppable in-store at Selfridges from a screen within the pre-existing immersive exhibition space exploring the brand's aesthetic ties to OpArt creator Victor Vasarely. Also featuring pieces from the S/S 22 collection where creative director Julien Dossena drew inspiration from the artist, the 360 project takes couture-level artistry then re-transcribes it through technological innovation - offering an unparalleled opportunity for early adopters of digital assets and fashion collectors alike to own and virtually wear a historic garment that transcends time. Translated into the digital realm, these iconic dresses, originally made in heavy materials such as steel chainmail, aluminium, laser discs and wooden beads, will become completely weightless.
The 12 NFTs range in how exclusive they are. Two dresses, a S/S 69 cape originally made from plexiglass diamonds and a look from A/W 90-91, are available at two NFTs only. This is due to the digital craftsmanship it took to recreate them, developing the virtual renders with the same level of detail as the real life garments. Lucky buyers will receive a virtual fitting in Paris.
Paco Rabanne have also made a new pledge to not only improve archive storage conditions but also to expand their archive through various enriching initiatives. Never forgetting their heritage while hurtling towards fashion's prospective metaverse-led future, physical and virtual realms collide.