Starting Over

Image Credit: Andy Kelly via Unsplash

Katie O’Brien contemplates if fashion’s budding tech obsession is a tour de force or a faux pas?

Modernity for modernity sake? Are we trying too hard to drag things into the cyber age and should fashion be left out of this debate or should fashion adapt and embrace all things new? Coperni’s latest runway recently tried to top their spray-on dress worn by Bella Hadid. They continue to try and meld the world of technological innovation and fashion by imposing a four “legged” yellow dog-esque robot beside their model. 

The American engineering company Boston Dynamics created these “dogs” and they seem to proudly bounce onto the runway, almost interacting with each other with a sense of personality. 

The robots did appear to be the main part or highlight of the first half of the show. The first few looks were dark and subdued with the main stand outs being accessories like broaches and handbags. When it comes to giving technology a space in the fashion world I feel that it should not be done like this, if technology is to be used it should be used to compliment and aid the garments. The highlight and take away from the show should not be how interesting and futuristic the robots were but instead how artistic the choice of using tech was when displaying clothing. It can sometimes feel that designers or creative directors can use elements like this as gimmicks and newsworthy shock factor aspects to have their work reshared and reported on. 

When it came to the second half of the Coperni show it did seem to redeem itself with how it managed to meld the worlds of tech and fashion by having the robots and models interacting with one another. A model named Rianne Van Rompaey wore a black garment cover up down the runway which was then ripped off to reveal a separate garment underneath as a dramatic reveal. The interactions did not stop there. Lila Moss then used the robot as a semi coat rack or an abiding boyfriend, as she handed her handbag to the bot as she continued to walk down the runway, then retrieving it on the way back. Elements like this add a sense of camp realism to the runway, the realism of technology with the campness of a sort of Ru Paul Ruveal. 

I feel that technology in fashion will always be something heavily debated. However, it’s not the first time we have seen it, like with Alexander McQueen’s spray paint dress. Fashion purists might not always enjoy the idea of fashion losing a human touch but to keep with the times fashion needs to adapt. Fashion houses can fade out of relevance so fast as seen in the past. This dread of looking archaic in the eyes of the shopper can cause mass panic in fashion houses which can lead to new modern ideas being implemented in a tacky and rough nature. I think to implement this successfully, technology can not eclipse the garments and creative direction of the show but instead should help to amplify.