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MA Fashion Media and Communications students discuss their work for LCF Postgraduate 24 season

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  • Written byLondon College of Fashion
  • Published date 04 March 2024
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AxA Data Black Market by Yiyang Lu

As LCF Postgraduate 24 season draws to a close at the end of this week, we caught up with some of the MA Fashion Media and Communication students whose work features in the exhibition. These innovative students spoke to us about how they engage with new and emerging technologies to envision, plan and design fashion environments, and experiences.

purple figure in a gaming environment of grass and hills
Loomwelt by Qianlan Wang

Tell us a bit about your final project? What themes does it explore and why?

Qianxun Gao: My project is inspired by the rapid development of contemporary artificial intelligence, the internet, and the experience economy. With these advancements, more social interactions and activities are becoming non-physical and digitalised, leading to an increasing demand for virtual experiences and products that offer emotional companionship. With the advancement of technologies like AI and VR, the future of idol culture could be closely tied to virtual humans that offer low cost, high customer satisfaction and high returns.

Qianlan Wang: My project is a game experience that explores the transformative impact of digital media on perception and cognition. It discusses how digital media has fundamentally changed the way we receive and process information and reshaped our sensory experiences. The project emphasises the importance of perceptual diversity and variability in digital environments for understanding and engaging with the world. The game's core themes center on discovering and exploring an immersive environment, navigating disorientation, and fostering innovative cognitive strategies.

Yiyang Lu: My master project ‘𝔸𝕩𝔸 (𝔸𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕗𝕚𝕔𝕚𝕒𝕝 𝔼𝕩𝕡𝕒𝕟𝕤𝕖 𝔸𝕣𝕔𝕒𝕟𝕒)’ is a decentralised virtual black market where an AI Artist named AiA exists. It enables real-time dialogues with AiA. Through engaging with this Large Language Model, your perceptions of originality, creativity, and authorship in art will be challenged. You can also catch a glimpse of the evolving identity of the artist in a world where AI plays a substantial role.

black background with neon block outlines and lightning
AxA Data Black Market by Yiyang Lu

How do you think the Media and Communications landscape in the fashion industry is changing and what is the future for it?

Qianlan Wang: From my point of view, the development of technology is leading to new innovations in the fashion communication industry.  Communication is gradually changing from mere viewing, to a more interactive experience. Especially in the terms of fashion gaming, I think in the future immersive gaming experiences will also bring new vitality to the interaction between brands and consumers.

Yiyang Lu: From fashion illustration and photography to fashion film, we are now stepping into a new stage of fashion media and communication, encompassing emerging technologies to create immersive experiences that blur the boundary between physical and digital. This doesn’t mean it will substitute the former formats; each format has its specialties. For now, fashion media and communication is actively exploring the application of technologies like game engines, VR, AR, and AI in the fashion industry.

Qianxun Gao: I believe the future of the fashion industry and its communication landscape will be closely intertwined with the experiential economy, gaming, and online culture. People are increasingly inclined towards more entertaining and memorable content than serious themes and content. Therefore, what fashion practitioners need to strive for continuously is a keen sense of cutting-edge trends and the ability to generate innovative ideas.

How do you think the Media and Communications landscape in the fashion industry is changing and what is the future for it?

Qianlan Wang: From my point of view, the development of technology is leading to new innovations in the fashion communication industry. Communication is gradually changing from mere viewing to a more interactive experience. Especially in the terms of fashion gaming, I think in the future immersive gaming experiences will also bring new vitality to the interaction between brands and consumers.

Yiyang Lu: From fashion illustration and photography to fashion film, we are now stepping into a new stage of fashion media and communication, encompassing emerging technologies to create immersive experiences that blur the boundary between physical and digital. This doesn’t mean it will substitute the former formats; each format has its specialties. For now, fashion media and communication are actively exploring the application of technologies like game engines, VR, AR, and AI in the fashion industry.

Qianxun Gao: I believe the future of the fashion industry and its communication landscape will be closely intertwined with the experiential economy, gaming, and online culture. People are increasingly inclined towards more entertaining and memorable content than serious themes and content. Therefore, what fashion practitioners need to strive for continuously is a keen sense of cutting-edge trends and the ability to generate innovative ideas.

female game characters holding props
Shero - AI Virtual Idol Girl Group by Qianxun Gao

What have been the highlights of the MA Fashion Media and Communication course, and your time at LCF?

Yiyang Lu: Reflecting on my studies here, I was excited about having conversations with our course leader and lecturers on how to frame our project. We brainstormed together, and I am super amazed by their breadth and depth of thought. Through every tutorial, I would gain 3-4 directions to develop my project further. They are like human-shape databases in the fashion media and communication and adjacent areas. Apart from this, we are honoured to have professionals join the course, including summits, workshops, and lectures, where we have the chance to connect with them and get acquainted with their industry insights. What’s more, because this course requires practice-based outcomes, I also learned to use 3D software, game engines, AI, and post-editing tools to visualize our concepts.

Qianlan Wang: I think the highlight is that we have the opportunity to experience different specialists from the industry participate in our course every week. As students not yet in the industry we are really curious about how our skills will be applied in the current industry, so this was a great opportunity to connect with that.

Qianxun Gao: I feel the MA Fashion Media and Communication course has equipped me with a proactive mindset to learn new concepts and technologies. In today's rapidly changing society, I used to feel apprehensive about having to learn new software or delve into new domains. Throughout the course, I've been exposed to a high frequency of learning new knowledge and have discovered my own process of continually attempting to resolve perplexities. This has instilled in me the courage to approach any potential changes in the future with a readiness to relearn.

Shero - AI Virtual Idol Girl Group by Qianxun Gao

What are your plans now that you have finished your studies?

Qianlan Wang: It is time to apply the skills we have learned. We are in such a privileged position, the intersection of emerging technology and fashion. So ideally it would be great to work as a freelancer on projects in related areas of this kind, or to go into a creative agency. I won’t stop creating and exploring new techniques!

Qianxun Gao: As a female from a developing country background, I am aware that many females around the world still lack equal rights and opportunities. I am eager to join a creative team that empowers female expression, creating more narratives that encourage women to break free from the confines of patriarchal stereotypes and responsibilities. I aim to tell stories of women venturing into various worldviews with a natural and courageous spirit. These stories could take various forms such as games, VR, 3D or 2D animation, or even live-action film and television. I am open-minded and eager to explore!

Yiyang Lu: The MA study here is both intense and fulfilling, with much still for me to learn. Now, I am contemplating how to blend the depth of research with visual practice and further develop them.