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LCFMA22: Ana Luisa Sampaio and Yao Yao discuss Digital Fashion

black and white logo 'LCFMA22'
  • Written byJ Igiri
  • Published date16 February 2022
black and white logo 'LCFMA22'

We are delighted to be celebrating our #LCFMA22 postgraduates with an inaugural catwalk, showroom and exhibition, launching at London Fashion Week.

These events highlight the inspiring projects created by London College of Fashion’s MA class of 2022. A livestream of the catwalk will be available to watch on the LCF website.

Ahead of the showcase, we caught up with two MA Innovative Fashion Production graduates, Ana Luisa Sampaio and Yao Yao, to find out about their projects, experiences on the course, and plans for life after uni.

Ana has always been interested in fashion production / new technologies, and chose this MA to be introduced to innovative production practices in the industry while learning about different fashion design software.

Yao is a 3D fashion designer working in digital fashion for over five years, passionate about projects that focus on the combination of fashion and technology.

Tell us a bit about your project – what themes are you exploring?
3D render of garment design

ANA: My NFT only consists of one look; however, I have developed several looks and avatars since I have finished my Master's project. My main goal is to present garments with a modern design and realistic textures, and for this, I heavily depend on a good render resolution.

YAO: E-commerce has become one of the main shopping ways in the fashion industry. However, the return rate of clothing is higher than products of any other category due to unsatisfactory size or colour. Therefore, online fashion retailers urgently need to provide consumers with a more immersive shopping experience.

My project developed a real-time mobile-based virtual try-on platform. It provides virtual clothing production, customization, and AR virtual try-on functions which can give customers a more realistic idea about how the garments will fit them.

Your project focuses heavily on digital fashion. What inspires you in this area?

ANA: On the sweatshirt design of the NFT, the pattern was created using textures made by Artificial Intelligence. Digital fashion opens the door to creativity and new opportunities for designers. It is where the creative and technology fields can be combined to promote a more sustainable and ethical industry.

In all my designs I have included fur, as I admire its look on clothing; however, I am vegan, and I am against it due to ethical reasons. Nevertheless, digital fashion allows me to use fur without killing animals or damaging the environment, providing artistic and innovative stimulation.

YAO: I got into digital fashion in a 3D fashion design competition held in China in 2016, and since then I have been attracted to it. We used CLO 3D to transform our designs into digital versions in that competition. The experience brought me a new understanding of fashion – it doesn't have to be physical, it can be virtual, and there are many more possibilities. Since then, I started my research in this particular area.

What challenges did you face during the making of your final collection, and how did you overcome them?

ANA: The creation of digital garments demands a good computer suitable for 3D modelling and rendering. During my Masters, I only had access to the university computers, creating delays in the development process. However, since then, I have invested in a capable personal computer that allows me to develop new garments at any time.

YAO: As you can see, my project has a lot of technology-related parts, so I had some technical difficulties in the process of developing AR filters. I couldn't achieve full-body tracking with AR technology at first. After trying different software, I found that Lens Studio was the best platform for me to develop the virtual try-on function. At the same time, Mouhannad gave me some very helpful advice. He helped me find solutions from an insider's perspective.

Is there any piece of advice or insight from the course that stuck out to you?

ANA: MA Innovative Fashion Production has amazing staff that allowed me to excel on all my briefs; however, it is essential as a masters student to delve into research independently and be curious about everything, as by being curious, we can come across new opportunities and ideas.

YAO: I am very grateful for the experience during the course. What has influenced me the most is the approach to thinking critically. When we propose an idea, Ella and Mikha guide us to think about the value and limitations of this innovation. This allows our projects to be closer to the industry and able to target a specific industry gap.

What excites you the most about the fashion industry?

ANA: The fantastic and unique possibilities that digital fashion can bring in the future.

YAO: The fashion industry is developing very fast, and what excites me the most is the combination of fashion and technology. Technology has brought new vitality to the traditional fashion industry. I am a person who is always willing to challenge new things, so I am looking forward to seeing how fashion fits into the nuanced worlds of NFTs, the metaverse, crypto, etc.

What are your hopes and plans for life after graduation?

ANA: I want to continue developing my portfolio, learning new techniques and software while looking for a job.

YAO: I love London and I wish I could stay here. Currently, I am looking to find a job related to digital fashion because I love and enjoy the process of digital creation. Besides, challenging things makes me feel fresh and alive. I wish I had a better work-life balance and could travel and explore the great outdoors.