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    AI dresses & NFC-chipped nails: Designers at NYFW and LFW ride tech wave

    The roundup and verdict on the latest Web3, AI, and digital fashion drops.
    The roundup and verdict on the latest Web3, AI, and digital fashion drops. Photo: Adobe

    As recently as five years ago, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality during fashion month were a scarce sight. Now, they’re firmly on their way to becoming a catwalk mainstay.

    New York Fashion Week, for instance, saw Collina Strada harness the uncanny charm of AI-generated visuals, while Christian Cowan became the first stalwart from the world of capital-F fashion to play with Adobe’s interactive dress.

    Now, it’s London’s turn — and SYKY is back commanding the Web3 spotlight. During the second edition of its Worlds Collide event, which took place on Friday, the platform unveiled its latest project: two new works from celebrity designer Kay Kwok and SYKY Collective cohort member Taskin Goec.

    SYKY’s LFW event unveiled new works from KWK by Kay Kwok and Taskin Goec. Photo: SYKY
    SYKY’s LFW event unveiled new works from KWK by Kay Kwok and Taskin Goec. Photo: SYKY

    SYKY launches two new immersive works from KWK by Kay Kwok and Taskin Goec#

    What happened: The second edition of SYKY’s Worlds Collide event, hosted on February 16 in partnership with The British Fashion Council, revealed two new mixed-reality projects from KWK by Kay Kwok and SYKY Collective cohort member Taskin Goec.

    Chinese designer Kay Kwok launched digitized versions of three of his iconic designs, including Beyoncé’s custom 3D-printed art worn for the Renaissance Tour. Meanwhile, Berlin-based conceptual artist Taskin Goec released seven AI-informed garments, including a one-of-one bouquet baseball cap.

    Why it matters: With avant-garde spearheader Nicola Formichetti now on board as artistic director, SYKY is expanding both its fashion community and ambitions.

    For Kwok, a designer whose creations tip towards a more conceptual, editorial vibe, transforming his most iconic garments into virtual twins makes it easier for fashion lovers to own a piece of his work. In Goec’s case, with SYKY in the midst of establishing a strong reputation across the fashion realm, the project is poised to boost the designer’s visibility across the industry.

    Adobe’s interactive dress debuted on the runway at Christian Cowan’s NYFW Fall 2024 showcase. Photo: Adobe
    Adobe’s interactive dress debuted on the runway at Christian Cowan’s NYFW Fall 2024 showcase. Photo: Adobe

    Christian Cowan puts his own spin on Adobe’s AI-interactive dress#

    What happened: Nestled within The Harmonie Club, a private social club in New York, British designer Christian Cowan rounded off his Fall/Winter 2024 collection with a shimmering shift dress featuring “petals” that moved as the model slinked down the runway. The dress was made using Adobe’s interactive smart textiles, a new material innovation coined Project Primrose.

    Why it matters: When Adobe initially unveiled its dress to the world last October, the tech community went mad for its novelness. But one crucial question remained: “Who would wear that?” Cowan seems to have found his answer in the New York party girl.

    For Adobe, a company that remains at the forefront of tech innovation but lacks style credentials, having the support of a designer as prominent as Cowan opens up a world of potential. But the dress’ use case remains limited beyond the fashion stage; smart textiles may get people talking, but they aren’t so easy to integrate into everyday wear.

    Dauphinette’s runway featured NFC-chip press on nails by Kiki World. Photo: Kiki World
    Dauphinette’s runway featured NFC-chip press on nails by Kiki World. Photo: Kiki World

    Dauphinette debuts NFC-chip nails on NYFW runway#

    What happened: For its Fall/Winter 2024 collection, the emerging New York-based fashion label Dauphinette tapped Web3-native beauty label Kiki World for fun and forward-thinking accessories in the form of NFC-connected nails.

    Using near-field communication (NFC) technology, the press-on sets are each linked to their wearer’s Instagram account. Audiences could scan the nails using their phones as models walked past, creating an interactive and engaging experience.

    Why it matters: Smartphones and wearables aren't the only ways consumers can utilize and interact with new technologies. Kiki World is using this nebulous transitional period as an opportunity to play with out-of-the-box concepts.

    Over the past few years, the beauty arena has taken Web3 tech and the increasingly digitized world in stride, ushering in trends like the NPC-style “Get Ready With Me” and AI-informed makeup products. Kiki World and Dauphinette’s tie-up is undoubtedly only the beginning.

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