UK-based designer Martine Jarlgaard first experimented with mixed reality for her September 2016 show at London Fashion Week. Now, her latest experience is more about the user than the collection in question.
Launched at Techfestival in Copenhagen earlier this month, the Meet Yourself interaction enabled users to stand face to face with a lifesize 3-dimensional avatar of themselves.
The idea was to challenge self-perception and present the feeling of stepping outside of yourself, Jarlgaard explains. “This is something that I believe is highly relevant, not just in a fashion context but in general, as we live in a visual culture with a high degree of exposure to perfection. Seeing yourself from a new perspective is thought provoking from a psychological and emotional perspective and challenges your usual settings.”
Her big focus is on highlighting mental health, especially in an age of ever-increasing technology: “Our minds are so incredible and important, yet fragile in certain environments. We can be stuck in a negative idea of ourselves. With Meet Yourself I want you to step out of yourself and to give you the opportunity to meet yourself and to see yourself as others see you. I think this is both necessary and healthy. We as humans will change so much in the coming years with technological, scientific and AI developments. I believe that us feeling good about ourselves is a crucial place to start.”
The avatars are of course dressed in Martine Jarlgaard London collection looks, the styles of which were pre-scanned so that a hologram of the garment is then superimposed onto the animated human forms.
That fashion element is also particularly important within the mixed reality space to Jarlgaard as a sustainable designer. This project helps us to question the value of materiality and immateriality, she explains. “In the current fashion landscape of overflowing landfills and too many garments being treated as disposable, I’m preoccupied with the idea of creating meaningful experiences which can challenge consumption and the idea of value as we know it,” she notes.
She is now working to get the Meet Yourself experience out to more people and to develop it further.