Lyst augmented reality
Lyst’s AR campaign featuring reality TV star Spencer Matthews

Online marketplace Lyst presented the world’s first augmented reality (AR) “humannequins” to celebrate the launch of London Fashion Week last week.

Near-naked models were on display in a store window ready for passersby to digitally dress them using AR on their tablets or mobiles. Included among them was reality TV star Spencer Matthews.

Viewers selected items from the hottest outfits and styles currently trending on Lyst in central London, based on an algorithmic interrogation of millions of searches and transactions fulfilled through the platform. Creative tech firm, M, captured textures and garment details close up using a 360-degree photographic rig. Shoppers could then zoom in/out and around the models without diminished picture quality.

Showcasing AR’s playful side, Lyst used technology reminiscent of Cher Horowitz’s high-tech wardrobe in Clueless. When the film debuted in 1995, computer-generated wardrobe organisation was too distant to contemplate seriously on a commercial level. Fast-forward 20 years later and numerous brands have explored what this might look like in reality, albeit largely still at a campaign or PR level.

Other brands utilising AR during fashion week include Rebecca Minkoff who partnered with shopping app Zeekit in New York. Viewers could upload a photo of themselves and “try on” garments from the catwalk. Meanwhile, models at the Desigual show wore make-up and accessories mimicking Shapchat filters, flipping the whole idea of AR around with amusing results.

AR blurs the lines between reality and digital, creating an experience that can be shared, as per the Pokémon Go phenomenon. Expect to see more of this type of technology during fashion week this season, and beyond.

Interested to find out more about augmented reality? Join us for the next in our #FashMash insights series for a deep-dive masterclass and hotly-anticipated panel debate on this technology.