We’re at the dawn of a new fashion landscape; one where 3D design makes virtually anything possible. In the next chapter of The New Order – our creative campaign that explores the future of fashion and retail through the medium of digital art – we’ve teamed up with 3D design collective DIGI-GAL. Watch the new season’s just-dropped pieces come to life as otherworldly digital renders, as we talk to DIGI-GAL Founder Cat Taylor about the next frontier of fashion...

Created by DIGI-GAL using a range of 3D software, the campaign features fully animated, 3D fashion pieces that exist within bespoke, virtually animated environments. “The campaign highlights the artistry found within each designer garment,” explains Cat. “The garments animate slowly through the scene, creating impossible fabric motions that mesmerise the viewer, stimulating a mix of feelings from tranquillity to terror.”

So how does a digital fashion campaign like this come to life? First, our lead Selfridges stylist selected the pieces from some of our most avant-garde designers, including Rick Owens, Maison Margiela and Ann Demeulemeester. The IRL samples were sent to DIGI-GAL, who studied the physical properties of the items before recreating them in 3D. “We were able to create impossible clothing that could not exist in real life: garments that defy gravity and walk without bodies. In one scene you can watch pieces of fabric form together to produce a Maison Margiela dress in a matter of seconds.”

This limitless capability for creativity applies not only to the clothes, but also to the digital environments in which they exist. For The New Order campaign, DIGI-GAL created a landscape that is both beautifully tranquil as well as ominously alien. “Virtual design opens up a whole new universe of possibility for fashion shoots, particularly when it comes to locations and environments, says Selfridges’ Digital Fashion Director Nabil Aliffi. ”It makes you wonder how clothing moves if it were not limited by the constraints of physics. The technology forces you to stretch your imagination, allowing for pure creative expression.”

DIGI-GAL is a network and platform for 3D animation designers, founded by Cat Taylor (@Cattytay) in order to spotlight the hidden narrative of womxn and non-binary people who work with 3D design. From university students to industry professionals, DIGI-GAL provides a 24/7 global community for technical and creative support, meet-ups and skill shares.

“I’m originally from a physical fashion and textiles background, but I wanted to push the experimental sampling of fabrics into new and unseen territories,” explains Cat. “I wanted to influence a new phase of sustainable development within the fashion industry, while also creating a new wave of digital fashion content.”

Creating otherworldly fashion campaigns is just the beginning – 3D design holds a huge amount of potential for planet-friendly change within the fashion industry.

First up, tackling over-production and waste: “3D software provides designers with the ability to design, sample, customise and produce a virtual garment that can be sold online the very same day, without the need to be physically created. This makes a sustainable ‘made-to-sell’ model where nothing is wasted entirely possible,” says Cat.

“Looking forward, I predict a rise in consumer customisation, where product can be fully personalised to a customer’s exact measurements and specification. This made-to-order product will have a far greater emotional attachment to the wearer, and therefore become a more sustainable product that will be worn for longer.”

The merging of the physical and digital worlds continues to our Oxford Street windows. Emily Outhwaite, Assistant Styling Manager, explains: “We picked the items we would have used to dress the mannequins, and sent them to DIGI-GAL who 3D-scanned them and created digitally rendered versions, which are displayed in the windows via screens. 

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