First Ever Metaverse Fashion Week – And How We Got to be Part of It
Not so long ago I wasn’t sure if I understood the term Metaverse on its own, and when I heard it in a sentence alongside Fashion Week my confusion was elevated but my mind was intrigued. Key word in all of this is not Metaverse or Fashion Week, it is First. In this world where technology is rapidly evolving and new innovations keep emerging, to be part of something that is First Ever sounds like a privilege and is not to be missed.
It all started when we got a call from dear friends of ours who are already part of this all Physical and not at all Meta Clothing Brand running by the name of Mihano Momosa. And just like us, they were not allowing for something that is about to happen for the first time ever to just fly by, without them onboard.
“Can we be part of this”, “Part of what” we asked…. and after a brief talk we didn’t know what we were getting into, but were eager to see how it was going to turn out. This event was scheduled for March 24-27, and it was to be held in Decentraland, one of the most popular Metaverse on the internet. Platform is fully decentralised and is run by its own DAO that is taking care of everything important to users. Plan was simple, we will create digital wearable for them to use and attend this event in, and they will give their best to experience and explore further possibilities of this new MetaWorld and its capabilities.
It took us few days to create a digital dress based on concept given to us by Mihano, and weeks of research prior to it. Even though Process itself is not complicated, it’s just strict with rules and guidelines of what is allowed and what is not. Once you go through the documentation and understand complexity, you can make model fairly fast. Most important thing among all is that you stay within allowed number of polygons for a wearable and make sure you texture it correctly.
Decentraland provides native Building tool within platform where you can see and test your model and easily add parameters to it, like gender it is created for or set rarity level of a wearable. You can also find a variety of free models published by the community, and can easily start from there. Modeling can be done in any mainstream 3D modeling software, but most of the documentation and tutorials refers to Blender as a go to software for creating wearable.
Once we had our model ready it was necessary to submit it for review to the Decentraland wearable committee. Review process took a couple days to go through, and required us to pay a submission fee that is non-refundable and somewhat costly. After all of this was settled and the model got approved we were left with just a few days before the event started.
The 24th came and a whole lot of buzz online was pointing out that this event was not going to disappoint. Or we thought so.
The MVFW reportedly had over 60 fashion brands showcasing more than 500 looks. Among other highlights were over four after parties and presence of prominent artists during the four-day event. Among the many prominent brands and stores at the event were Selfridges, Estée Lauder, Bulova, Tommy Hilfiger, Dolce & Gabbana and Etro. The MVFW was open to all on Decentraland and was a completely free event where visitors could buy NFTs of the fashion brands using the platform’s native decentralised cryptocurrency MANA through their digital wallets.
But on the downside this event was a bit too big for the platform itself, the network was not ready to take in hundreds of Avatars at the same time, and provide a good experience. People were going through things, getting stuck, connection was snapping and all around movement was glitchy at best.
Take Away from all this is still very positive and as we stated at the beginning, being first at something is always a good thing and everything gets better with time. There is a whole lot of room for improvement and importantly we are already hearing about new features that are going to solve some issues that were exposed during this event. It is more than interesting to see people joining in and collaborating on something unexplored and borderline SciFi.
Last of all, I can definitely see this event evolving into something much more engaging. Even though the concept of fashion week is the same as in the physical world, regarding organisation and community gathering around it, lack of gravity itself allows another kind of experience, digital wearables are not only things that are defined by laws of physics, architecture within Metaverse is definitely something different and mind-blowing.
Designers really got out of the box and used their imagination to express themselves in whole another way and present fabulous creations that made us forget about all the glitches and issues and really look forward to day when this all becomes just normal form of gathering and Metaverse is no longer experimental but fully embraced and used by people willing to see the world through the graphic card.