BEYOND PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS
MEET 'THE FABRICANT'
In his seminal 1968 sci-finovel that inspired the movie Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick posed the question ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ If a machine can dream, create and empathise, where does humanity end and a robot begin? Today, 60 years later, we have well and truly entered what one would call the digital era. As a platform that glorifies Technology as an art form, 'The Fabricant' took our breaths away. As the first fully digital Fashion House, the digital atelier experiments with artificial intelligence algorithms to create collections - essentially asking a computer to dream, learn, create. Their aim? To lift human to the next level. Be ready to be amazed beyond your believe. Meet: THE FABRICANT.
It is as if The Fabricant is preparing for a post-human age. Scrolling through their website, one might ask themselves if we have not, indeed, partially, already entered this age. The Fabricant disputes 20th century notion of 'value' as being physical, by showcasing that material presence, in today's age, does not equal significance. They pose the question: what if we recognise that definitions are limitations in disguise? "When we free ourselves from preconceptions we give ourselves permission to dream," Founder Kerry Murphy states. How The Fabricant perceives fashion is not far (actually, it is right bang-on) from how Beyond Photography perceives 'Photography'. In today's age, there are no limitations. Our realities have become adaptable, are in flux, have entered the hyperreal. What was once believed to be 'fantasy' has now become 'reality'. The Fabricant's 'products' do not exist in physical manifestations, yet are nothing less 'real' than the clothes you can buy on the high street. In fact, their digital couture piece recently auctioned for a stunnig $9.500 at world's first digital-only auction in history.
"We present The Fabricant as an alternative and a valuable addition to the existing photo - and film content. We are creative technologists pioneering new channels for human connection and self-expression through digital-only fashion."
If an algorithm can generate new designs by looking at existing runway images from Paris Fashion Week, how are fast fashion designers any different from computers? The catwalk is exclusive, it always has been, and the rest of the world watches the show on Instagram. What is the difference in seeing a rendered image of a digital garment or a 2D picture of the catwalk? Digital simulations of clothing will become more important in the narrative from now on, especially because you can’t really tell the difference anymore between real or fake, just as virtual influencers @lilmiquelaand @shudu.gram are disrupting the concept of what an aspirational figure is and can be.
Their project poses wider questions for the fashion industry in general. They are discovering new places, new ideas, new combinations and inspiration when setting foot in this unknown digital Wild West. Not only has the fashion world lost its course in a creative sense, with the Amazon burning, the ice caps melting and the Earth flooding, digital fashion houses may be exactly what our planet needs rather than 21st century 'fast fashion' that has risen with the domination of capitalism.
The future is now and no one understands that better than The Fabricant.