Coperni’s vaporized dress: revolution or gimmick?

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The most recent fashion month saw plenty of innovation, with some designs looking whimsical rather than groundbreaking. With Moschinos inflatables, kickings condom gloves, and Guccis runway hosting sixty-eight sets of identical twins, it seemed there was nothing else left to surprise the spectators with. However, Coperni has achieved the impossible.

When at the end of their show, model Bella Hadid arrived on the runway wearing only bare underwear. She then waited nearly nine minutes while a dress was sprayed over her body.

Dr. Manuel Torres’ Fabricator was used to create Bellas minimalist yet chic white dress. Torres used her experience after studying fashion in Londons Royal College of Art to patent his technology which he says was inspired by a silly string – “I thought I could create a haze“said the creator.

From there, Torres developed the technology that creates clothing using a layer of non-woven fabric. Fabrican liquid is sprayed on a surface and evaporates instantly on contact with it.

The possibilities are almost endless with Fabrican – it can be used to produce a range of fabrics including cotton, linen and nylon. During this time, the Fabrican garments themselves can be washed and worn again or turned back into a solution afterwards. Moreover, the implications extend beyond those of the fashion world. Fabrican can also be used in the medical industry to create bandages and casts.

Although most people wouldn’t have dreamed of seeing a dress born and brought to life on the catwalk, Coperni is synonymous with technology and progress. The fashion house was founded in 2019 by newlyweds Arnaud Vaillant and SeBastien Meyer. They named the fashion house after the Renaissance astronomer Copernicus and the couple brought a lot to the table with their futuristic designs.

In their SS23 parade alone, there was Matrixinspired clip-on sunglasses and exaggerated silhouettes with square shoulders. Meyer commented that the latter designs “actually comes from the characters you see in the Roblox online game.

Joking aside, Vaillant said that Bellas dress was all about a women’s days silhouettes of past centuriesand update them aesthetic in a more adult and scientific way.

It was definitely done as a models Instagram post showcasing the futuristic and magical dress garnered 2.8 million likes and went viral overnight. Copernis efforts, while seemingly groundbreaking, were in fact not the first of their kind.

The show drew parallels with a variety of historic fashion moments such as Hussein Chalayans clothes remover spring summer 2016, Martin Margielas Spring Summer 2006 colorful icicle accessories and Fredrik Tjaerandsens giant deflating balloons in his 2019 graduate collection.

However, the most notable inspiration was Alexander McQueens spring 1999 fashion show in which model Shalom HarlowThe pristine white dress has been aggressively spray painted by robots. McQueen’s show emphasized violence directed at the materials and people used when creating designs. The Coperni designers deny any homage to Alexander McQueen, saying their dress is a completely different concept.

However, the similarities to McQueen’s work raise questions about the significance of their dress. Vaillant said that Bellathe dress was a women’s days silhouettes of past centuries. But, as Rachel Tashjian argues in harpists Bazaar, the dress could be seen as a statement about how often women manipulate themselves to accommodate men’s ideas. The presence of an almost naked Bella Hadid on stage coupled with two men spray painting her body for 15 minutes was sure to create a viral moment. This viral moment came at the end of a fairly forgettable collection that seems to suggest that, as Vogue Business notes, the spray-on dress was part of a successful marketing strategy. The media impact of the event itself was measured at $26.3 million and the show certainly captured the attention of young luxury consumers around the world.

Despite this, CoperniThe use of Fabrican is certainly revolutionary due to the presentation of sustainable materials and new technologies on the catwalk. Let’s hope the success of CoperniThe show will inspire other designers to place equal importance on reusable and environmentally friendly materials.

Written by Imogen Mingos and Catherine Rowe-Kosary

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