While Cassette Playa has been one of the most influential brands in mens fashion, starting what could be as close to a movement as we’ve seen in recent years, it was important Carri Munden stay one step ahead of the pretenders, and in her own signature futuristic fashion she has with a unique live Augmented Reality performance at London Fashion Week.
Cassette Playa uses a hyperactive, mixed-up variety of images, ideas and reference points, but has created a coherent identity over the past few years by presenting them in a way that remains readable. Their multi-layered prints, reminiscent of cut and pasted web graphics, and the use of ancient symbols in their designs, are references to visual languages new and old and demonstrate the importance of communication in their work. The presentation of their AW10/11 capsule collection at London Fashion Week in a “live Augmented Reality performance” further explored the possibilities for fashion as communication by introducing wearable AR.
The project was realised with help from the Digital Fashion Studio at the London College of Fashion, which developed the software behind the presentation. Rather than a standard 2D barcode, their program recognised the rune-like symbols placed on the clothing, triggering 3D animations as each of the models posed in front of a video camera. The audience then saw a mixed reality on-screen as a series of CG additions – evoking the show’s themes of violence, knowledge and emotion – appeared in realtime, adorning the models’ avatars with helmets, new faces, and flashes of shape and colour.
Cassette Playa will continue to explore their intention to “make real life more like a computer game”, and there are plans for some form of release of their app. Until then, we’ll just have to keep holding up magazine pages to our webcams, and waiting for Tron Legacy.