Snap, in partnership with Vogue, is about to unveil a wave of augmented reality lenses at Cannes Lions that casts some of the latest high-fashion runway looks in virtual form, the company told WWD in a new exclusive.
The exhibition, titled ”Vogue x Snapchat: Redefining the Body,” will feature a virtual fashion try-on experience with select pieces from Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Kenneth Ize, Stella McCartney, Richard Quinn, Stella McCartney and Versace. The tech company worked with the design houses on the lenses, and plans to make them available to visitors of the Centre d’art La Malmaison, as well as Snapchatters around the globe. The experience will be accessible in mobile app through the Cannes Map Marker in the Snap Map or Dress Up tab in Lens Explorer.
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The exhibition curated by Vogue’s European editorial director, Edward Enninful.
The project is “a true creative collaboration,” Betsy Kenny Lack, Snap’s vice president of global brand strategy, told WWD, with the teams working to translate the physical garments into digital wearables. The effort puts the work of top designers front and center — to “push the boundaries of fashion’s changing form,” added Vanessa Kingori, British Vogue’s chief business officer — but for Snap, the exhibit was also meant to showcase something else: its AR tech. The company wanted to show “how expressive and immersive [it] can be for the fashion industry,” explained Lack.
Fashion and technology often come together in ways that can vary greatly, from gimmicky to artistic. “Redefining” is clearly shooting for the higher end of the spectrum, framing itself as an exploration of how technology transforms peoples’ experience of culture, creativity and fashion.
For the physical exhibit, all six of the rooms at La Malmaison will host custom-designed environments to highlight each designer’s display, with the physical pieces on view along with the AR experience. The lenses will include the virtual fashion, in addition to an AR room experience, allowing the work to extend beyond Cannes to Snapchat users anywhere. In total, seven try-on and in-room experiences will be available.
The exhibit starts Monday and will run until June 24.
As for what visitors will see, the detailed descriptions, as developed by the maisons themselves, follow below.
The French maison’s exhibition room is swathed in opaque darkness. Dense black curtains line the space, which houses two spotlit looks from Balenciaga’s 50th couture collection, and nods to the design of a historic dressing salon.
The pieces are part of Balenciaga’s first couture collection since 1968, the year the maison’s founder retired.
Attendees can scan the room’s Snapcode to instigate different perspectives of the monochromatic environment.
There will also be a custom Balenciaga AR experience, with try-on lenses available to wear the shocking-pink opera coat showcased in the exhibition.
In the courtyard of the Centre d’Art La Malmaison, a 3-meter-high statue of a model wearing the revolutionary Dior New Look of 1947 welcomes guests to “Redefining the Body.”
Standing on a five-pointed star — a symbol of divine providence that inspired the superstitious founding couturier to open his house in 1946 — she holds the iconic Lady Dior bag, an emblem of elegance for nearly three decades.
The Snapchat Snapcode reveals Dior petites mains skillfully hand-sewing details on this statue as she steps off her star-edged plinth, unifying time-honed craftsmanship with digital technology.
In its exhibition room, the Florentine house replicates the white grid and illusionistic funhouse mirror set design of the Exquisite Gucci runway show.
On podiums, mannequins display looks from this masculinity-exploring collection, which imagined the suit as a sartorial prompt.
Using the Snapchat Lens, Snapchatters can use their phone screen to warp its dimensions, unearthing colorful portals in a palette that reflects the atmosphere of the Exquisite Gucci show.
Snapchatters will be able to wear Gucci’s tailoring, faux-fur coat, aviator-style sunglasses and beret, revealed in moving tessellated grids.
Kenneth Ize — whose 2013-founded brand champions West African craft — has collaborated with Nigerian multimedia artist Jelili Atiku on an exhibition space featuring vivid reproductions of his paintings and public performance pieces.
Within this exhibition room, colorful wall hangings and upholstery are created using Aso oke — a handwoven Nigerian fabric pivotal to Ize’s designs.
Mannequins display vivid one-off gowns, which reflect Ize’s commitment to craft.
Through the Snapchat AR experience, viewers can experience Ize’s West African story, brought to life through sound, and wear his tactile creations, which will ripple and unfurl before their eyes.
A geometric grid of florals and polka dots, the exhibition room of British designer and this year’s BFC / Vogue Designer Fashion Fund winner Richard Quinn is swathed in the prints idiosyncratic of his 2016-founded brand.
Lenses will reveal a magical garden, where blue roses magnify through a mist, growing before your eyes and giving Snapchatters the opportunity to watch as Quinn’s opera coat and wide-brimmed balaclava appear on their bodies in an interactive swirl of sparkle.
The 2001-founded British house’s exhibition room is transformed into a grotto of giant colorful mushrooms, where mannequins display cascading ruffled dresses from the brand’s spring 2010 collection.
The space is rooted in Stella McCartney’s spring 2022 collection and campaign theme, “Fungi Are the Future of Fashion and Our Planet,” with the designer having been inspired by these incredible organisms’ potential for offering more sustainable solutions from medicine to material innovation.
The Big Mushroom will transform to showcase digital bees pollinating mushroom spores using Scan technology, and the try-on AR feature will unveil a headdress garlanded with mushrooms alongside a gown growing from fantastic fungi.
Gilded tiles, Baroque columns and Versace’s Medusa capture the Italian brand’s feeling of modern opulence within its exhibition room.
On display are bondage-inspired pieces from the brand’s now legendary fall 1992 collection, “Miss S&M.”
Snapchat brings the experience to life, letting Snapchatters wear buckled looks that morph into writhing snakes as the mythological Medusa is brought to life, and transforms into the viewer themself.