Two recent posts on the BSCRUNWAY Blog summarize the Runway 2.0 experience. The first is this fantastic video overview of the Runway 2.0 show by lovelyjunkie
The second is Runway 2.0 Wrap-Up post that will lead you to a display of student’s initial sketches alongside their final collection garments. We have already started our plans for Runway 3.0. The theme will be Technology: Progression Obsession.
Shenlei Winkler (aka: Shenlei Flashart in SL] has an excellent post titled, “Avatar Apparel vs. the Real Apparel Industry,” clarifying the differences between what FRI [Fashion Research Institute] terms, virtual fashion that is designed specifically for virtual worlds and gaming and the “1.7 trillion USD apparel industry.”
Actually it’s even becoming even more confusing then Shenlei mentions because the global apparel industry is now transitioning over to multi dimensional product development applications like Optitex [in the video below & see previous posts] that will empower the industry to develop in virtual 3D digital format [using virtual avatars] from square one.
So the term “virtual fashion” can refer to fashion developed specifically for end use in the the virtual world or fashion that is developed “virtually” via a multi dimensional application or “in the virtual world” for the real world global apparel industry. To add to the confusion 🙂 I have developed a totally in world Introduction to Virtual Fashion online college course that prepares real world students of fashion to think, create, develop and work together and communicate in a virtual world setting. Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08′] I believe that an application like Second Life provides fashion education programs with the tools to teach students a specialized (fashion) conceptual skill set from working in a 3D virtual reality environment that is free and open access for all fashion programs. Gaining these introductory virtual skills will begin to prepare students for emerging employer expectations relating to 3D conceptualization.
Some real life fashion designers like Nyla from the House of Nyla design and create one of a kind real world fashions and replicate them for virtual sales in a virtual world like Second Life.
And then there are the real life fashion designers like KOZMARA that create real world fashions using a multi dimensional product development application like Optitex that enables virtual development of a real world garment that can be easily manufactured.
What Shenlei is developing with IBM is real world apparel production design and development in a virtual world setting – this is really quite exciting and it takes a bit just to wrap your brain around it but once you do it leads to endless possibilities!
Shenlei goes on to describe how virtual fashion for end use in a virtual world is often developed in a 3D application like Photoshop or Illustrator and is never actually manufactured so the designer does not have to conform to a variety of size, trend, quality, production and time constraints.
She continues with a comparison of funds generated by the gaming industries and the global apparel industries. In her post, she eloquently details the four years of dedicated highly focused multi-faceted cross training involved in preparation to become a fashion designer in today’s global fashion industry.
All of these real world production details that a fashion design student must gain an understanding of are not required for a virtual fashion designer that designs specifically for the virtual gaming worlds. As Shenlei states, “the realities of manufacturability and wearer’s comfort are not even a consideration.”
Her blog post explains that the FRI research is not about fashion designing for the virtual world but working “in” and using virtual worlds to develop real world apparel for manufacture. FRI is,”focused on helping the apparel industry to cut its time to market, slash its development costs, reduce its carbon footprint, and enhance its profitability and revenue opportunities.” FRI is, “using virtual worlds to insulate designers from technology and to enable them to focus on design.”
The real world apparel industry product development research that FRI is conducting is exceptionally exciting and has the potential to have a transformational impact on the global apparel industry. Anyone involved in the real world apparel industry is welcome to visit the Fashion Research Institute [FRI] in SL. The FRI has made available new resident avatar kits in the welcome area of the FRI corporate sim complex in Second Life tm Shengri La. Here is a link to Shenlei’s post titled “Beautiful People….”
© 2008 All Rights Reserved.
I will be accepting students for my first totally in-world Introduction to Virtual Fashion in Second Life class. Students can register for credit or non-credit. I have been teaching fashion in Second Life for three semesters now st Buffalo State College as a Web enhanced course. I am working over the summer to develop this special course so it can be taught totally online on ANGEL and inworld in Second Life.
This course will require very basic level one introductory Photoshop and Illustrator skills.
Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Photoshop functions
Here is a link to my OpenCourseWare Level One Illustrator functions
Course Name: FTT495: Intro to Virtual Fashion in Second Life
Semester: fall 2008
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Catalog no.: 3347
Location of class Buffalo State Island in Second Life and ANGEL online course
Days: TR 7PM-10PM EST on BSC island in SL
Instructor’s Name: Elaine Polvinen aka Finn1 FLintlock
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Learn the basics of the 3D world of Second Life. Learn how to navigate, communicate with others and create fashion related projects. Introductory multi-disciplinary skills for 3D virtual fashion design, brand development, presentation and fashion show production. Research projects focusing on incorporating 2D into 3D conceptualization in Second Life.
Prerequisites: Basic introductory skills with Photoshop and Illustrator. You are required to already have established an Avatar in Second Life and to have worked through orientation island. Second Life is a free application that must be downloaded and installed on your computer. Download Second Life HERE. Information about hardware requirements for Second Life can be located on the download page. Any version of Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop will work for this class.
At the completion of the Virtual Fashion CAD Project student will demonstrate introductory:
- 3D virtual organizational skills.
- 3D virtual creative Thinking skills
- 3D virtual visual Communication skills
- 3D virtual multi-tasking skills.
- 3D virtual creative Problem solving skills
- 3D virtual collaborative skills
- 3D virtual technology skills.
- 3D virtual presentation skills
- 3D virtual Market trend research skills
- Flexibility to link existing and learn new concepts.
- Skills for working and strategizing completion of various assignments in a multiple 3D virtual reality settings.
- Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment development.
- Skills for 3D virtual fashion garment presentation and product packaging.
- Development of a 3D virtual fashion collection.
- 3D virtual fashion show production videos
- Web 2.0 skills
If you are interested in registering for this online college credit course FTT495 (3347) – please contact Buffalo State College Admissions
Here is a link to student fashion collections and shows from a spring 2007 SL project.
Here is a link to another online course offering this fall ’08 Register for Online Adobe Pattern Development for Industry
© 2008 All Rights Reserved.
Technology Day at FIT: Teaching and learning in Four Dimensions
I was next at Technology Day at FIT to present “My Avatar Myself: How Avatars are Transforming Product Development, Marketing, Retailing and Education.”
My presentation was an expansive overview of how avatars that represent personal representations of the user are totally and completely transforming all aspects of fashion product development, marketing, retailing and how fashion education can respond.
I began my presentation with the OptiTex Red Dress video to illustrate what a multidimensional product development application is capable of producing. I have been totally immersed in researching and retooling on cutting edge technology for fashion/textiles education for the last 20 or so years and I have never witnessed technology transforming as quickly as it currently is now shifting over to 3D and virtual reality.
There is just no way a software application company can keep up internally with the changes taking place in the industry without forming multiple external liaisons and partnerships. In the same vein there is no way that retailers can respond to the mass personalization and customization [MCP] trend that the user centric social community market is driving without shifting to an integrated multidimensional product development and/or retailing application. The user is totally driving the market that is requiring these transformational changes. Fashion education in turn can successfully respond to this transformational technology and market trend by also forming liaisons, partnerships and linkages with industry and other fashion educators on a global level. Sharing resources, knowledge and skills regarding this shift over to multidimensional product development, MCP marketing and retailing will enable a quick and positive response to prepare future entry level professionals for the fashion industry.
At the time I was researching for a manuscript I was working on last fall, one of the reasons that OptiTex caught my eye was because they were the only apparel/textile application I could locate that had formulated a variety of highly successful partnerships and/or liaisons that resulted in novel and creative pre-marketing, and MCP marketing applications (in addition to a relatiively uniform level of development of multiple modules). This company was definitely ahead of the MCP social community trend that is currently taking place in the fashion industry. Technology leadership today is a precarious position to be in for any company especially when you have a multidimensional application that requires cutting edge development for multiple modular applications. It’s a high speed, high stakes race to the future – correctly predicting and preparing for future trends at the warp speed that is required for todays software applications. Quick response is a definite stratigic market positioning advantage.
A multidimensional system empowers the user to work seamlessly from 2D to 3D and back to 2D again in real time. And most important to retailers is to develop the product in digital content from square one. This equals BIG $$$ and time savings as well as enabling pre-marketing and MCP options. Why even discuss the lack of global sizing standards when parametric sizing is possible and fit models can simply body scan themselves into becoming the 3D virtual avatar dress forms that are then used to design and create a brands garments on? A brand can focus on developing sizing standards for their target customers. Multiple functions were displayed in the presentation that are mentioned in previous posts:
- Simultaneous multidimensional work flow
- Develop flat pattern directly from drawing on the 3D avatar fit mannequin, stitch 2D pattern into 3D garment.
- Body scan a brands fit models, industry form plug-in, annimated fit testing.
- Using digital product development content to pre-market.
- [note: search for “OptiTex” to locate more items.]
Where is this mass customization emerging from? Think Webkinz – a multi-million dollar success story that involves exceptionally cute little furry avatar creatures that young children love. And who knows a young WebKinz addicted child that only has one Webkinz? Purchase of these little avatars enable entry into a very special social community that empowers the owner to do all sorts of things on line. And just to keep the purchases strong there they “expire” after one year, while others are forced into “retirement,” and there are continual introductions to new Webkinz [see video below]. Open your wallets!
Club Penquin is another on line social community that markets to young children leading to Barbie online and the Meez social community. The ability to make the animated Meez gifs in such a variety of backgrounds and movements had led kids to string them together to make some creative videos [see video posted below]. Search for Meez on You Tube. Oh yes I almost forgot all the Meez clothes are available for purchase at Sears. Sweet marketing concept.
The Club Penquin avatars have also inspired some creative YouTube videos
The crème de la crème of this trend for the youth market is the Sims and H&M “Where Fashion Design and the Virtual World Meet,” branding and promotion that created the Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway product. The on line Sims2 H&M Fashion Runway community votes to select the best design that will be produced for the H&M product line – what a creative and unique personalization and social community concept. This is an excellent virtual preparation for an emerging fashion design student.
Where is this social marketing trend moving after youngsters, tweens and teens? Try the MVM BrandMe personalized model trend that is rapidly expanding into fashion products. MVM develops customized user centric applications specifically for retailers that empower the user to personalize their shopping experience and share it with a social community or “push” it to a blog or e-mail. Viral marketing strategies for retailers are a reality with the MVM Dressing Room and Home Products Outfitting Solutions. Retailers can track buyer’s preferences and offer promotional items based on those preferences. [note: search MVM and/or BrandMe for previous blog posts]
Duel virtual and real world marketing is already taking place. Examples are House of Nyla and the Playboy line developed in partnership with Second Life fashion designers. Virtual World Product Life Management solutions for the apparel industry are currently under development as evidenced by the Black Dress Technology Subsidiary that represents collaboration between the Fashion Research Institute and IBM. A gargantuan virtual world is currently under development in the form of the Cyber Recreation District in Beijing China that has the potential to impact the world economy if successful. The need to download a virtual world application in order to access it may soon be a thing of the past with multiple developers [MetaPlace and SocioTown] to name a few] racing to release the most successful 3D virtual world that is easily accessible via the “flat Web browser” we currently use.
How can education prepare students for the 3D and virtual transformation that we are currently undergoing? Introduce them incrementally to a virtual experience like Second Life. Getting acclimated to a virtual 3D experience will provide them with the ability to think and conceptualize in 3D. Whatever the application they will be required to work on in the real world will be – they will already be halfway there because they have experienced and achieved a level of comfort by completing simulated fashion related projects in a virtual world. Projects like developing fashion collections, exhibits, brand logos, fashion show production, store layout and design, 2.0 Web applications, simultaneous real world/virtual world marketing and promotion.
If fashion education does not initiate the type of quick response solution (that students are taught with regards to the real world) to the unprecedented transformational technology shift that is taking place over to 3D, they run the serious risk of becoming redundant and obsolete and could actually be the driving force for industry to develop private training institutes.
Avatars are permeated throughout product development, marketing and retailing. Their use has multiple benefits for industry in the form of cost effectiveness and quick response, pre-marketing and MCP options. The use of multidimensional applications provide retailers with digital content to pre-market a product to a social community similar to the MCP Sims/H&M branding/marketing concept on a grand scale.
Virtual worlds hold great promise for product development, just-in-time manufacturing and multidimensional retailing. How will industry, retailers and education respond? This is like a massive multi player game of musical chairs [or Survivor] to see who survives and prospers by responding to the users [that are driving the MCP social marketing trend] and by creating strategic linkages.
continued on … Technology Day at FIT Part III
Link to my FLICKR images from the conference.
© 2008 All Rights Reserved.
Last Spring 2007 I had several posts relating to the first BSC Introduction to Fashion in Second Life Project on this blog.
- Virtual Fashion Project Spring 2007
- NMC 2007 Symposium on Creativity in Second Life
- SLCC 2007 Education Track
- SURL – BSC Fashion Student exhibit in SL
I am currently working with a new Intro to Second Life class this spring [Intro to Second Life: Part I] and I will share more of that in the next post, but I also completed a class last fall 2007 that I would like to share with you in this post. [note: see Register for College Level Intro to Virtual Fashion in SL [fall 08′]}
I finally got a chance to document the assignments and links to some student work from a class I held in the fall of 2007 titled Virtual Fashion. This class was a continuation of the Introduction To Fashion in Second Life Project that I incorporated into my FashionCAD class the previous spring. The class began with introducing students to various Web 2.0 applications that they could incorporate into the virtual fashion class. I have posted a series of assignments that students completed in the class.
Establishment of a WordPress Blog: Student set up free WordPress bolgs to document the project we worked on in the Virtual Fashion class.
Establishment of a FLICKR sites. Students set up free FLICKR accounts to upload Second Life images that would be linked to their WordPress blog.
DEL.ICIO.US accounts Students set up DEL.ICIO.US accounts to keep a record of the Web research they conducted.
BLOGHUD accounts Students set up free Second Life BLOGHUD accounts to document their Second Life explorations.
The first assignment (and WordPress entry) involved visiting some Second Life fashion establishments. We all had an excellent in-world treat visiting Sheliei Winkler’s [aka: Shenlei Flashart]. Shenlei is the director of the Fashion Research Instituteand is on the cutting edge of integrating virtual world product development for the fashion industry. Shenlei who is a master builder and fashion designer in Sl and RL was an excellent presenter to the fashion students that were new to Second Life.
Each student set up a free Zazzle account and upload designs to it. ZAZZLE is a site where you can upload your designs and potential clients can choose custom items to purchase with your design. The designer earns a percentage of the total cost of the item. It’s a wonderful intro to mass customization and personalization business experience with no overhead costs to the designer. They posted an entry on their blog.
Students uploaded about 10-12 repeat pattern textures to Second Life. Students could also use high resolution versions of these designs to place on various ZAZZLE products. They posted their texture collections on to their blogs.
Go and purchase a Loop Rez Deluze in SL and sue it to develop your own flexi skirt designs. Here is a link to ged’s anti-blog, there is a link to a link to a tutorial there.
Virtual Store Layout and Design Project – Students developed their own virtual world fashion boutique concept and built their customized version in Second Life. An example of MeuMeu’s fashion boutique in different stages of construction is displayed below, beneath that is Jade Seilings fashion boutique and under Jade’s is Fausto’s Boutique. Student posted these entries to their individual blogs. SL locations of individual student boutiques in SL on the Buffalo State island are:
Go to the Buffalo State island. Open the MAP and click on it to activate the red circle location icon. Type in the coordinates listed above for the different boutique locations and teleport over.
Assignment #10: Simultaneous real world virtual world marketing project.
Students developed their custom ZAZZLE page to include 10-12 designs and replicated these RL designs in SL to place into their customized SL fashion boutiques. They created product presentation packages in SL that included a pose of their avatar wearing the t-shirt they designed. The permissions were set on the SL presentation packages so that anyone could get a free copy of the t-shirt for their avatar to wear in SL. Each presentation package also included a Web link to their ZAZZLE page that had a RL version of the same design that could be purchased in RL. The presentation packages are displayed in their customized SL fashion boutiques. They posted this entry on to their blogs. Below are examples of MeuMeu’s SL ZAZZLE packages [larger images are on MeuMeu’s Webblog.]
Industry Project – During the course of this class we had an opportunity to collaborate with a contact from Sears. Each student located two RL items for sale on the Sears Web site and developed replicas of those items for SL. Web links to the RL item were added to the SL item. Since this project was completed in the fall of 2007, all the RL items from the Sears pages were sold out – all that remains are the SL items. All completed SL items were sent to the Sears contact to conduct some in world marketing research on simultaneous virtual and real world promotion. The location of the Sears student exhibit on the Buffalo State Island in SL is 228,82,38
Virtual Fashion Pro and POSER – the last project in this class involved developing custom garments in Virtual fashion Pro and exporting them to Poser. In Poser student posed the fashion and photographed them for their professional portfolio. An example of MeuMeu’s poser example is posted below.
Here are the WordPress blog links for some of the Virtual Fashion Students that participated in this project:
Sorry it has been so long since my last post but I have been very busy with teaching and traveling to a conference. I will try to make up for that this week during spring break.
A new beginning Second Life Class project in my current FashionCAD class is starting every Tuesday on the Buffalo State Island. I will try too post what we are doing week to week. During the last two hours of the four hour class on 3/18/08, I demonstrated what it was like to walk, fly, text and look around in Second Life. I teleported to the Buffalo State island and showed students what other students have completed in past Second Life projects.
Then I asked students in the class to sign up for Second Life and their assignment for the next class [after the spring break 3/31/08] was to complete the self-tutorial on Orientation Island and send me (via-email) their real name and their SL avatar name.
Here is a link to the last Intro to FashionCAD project post in my spring 2007 FashionCAD class.
To be continued in this post… Fashion CAD OpenCourseWare Basic Function Series: Intro to Second Life for Fashion Students
On another note, there was a recent article printed in Buffalo Business First March 17th by Tracey Drury about the Second Life projects at Buffalo State titled, “High fashion, virtually with cyber designs.”