To coincide with the launch of the Digital Anthropology Lab we’ve been highlighting the talented digital work of London College of Fashion as part of our #LCFDigitalFashion season, today we feature LCF MA Fashion Photography alumna Nirma Madhoo-Chipps who has created a brilliant fashion film that explores digital aesthetics.
Nirma was one of the winners of this year’s Global Outlook Award, and her ‘Future Body‘ has been one of the outstanding digital fashion films of this year. The fashioned body performs in hyper-reality and notions of the future are constructed through the use of CGI, animation and costume design featuring 3D printing technologies. We recently caught up with Nirma to discuss digital fashion, London College of Fashion and her future plans.
Your work incorporates a digital futuristic style, what made you develop this style?
Interdisciplinary interests in science and technology; a subjective interest in science fiction; and a keen eye out for everything digital.
Who are your idols?
I wouldn’t say I have idols but there are some artists and thinkers whose work are definitely inspiring. I am always looking forward to Chris Milk’s next project. I recently met Di Mainstone of the Human Harp project. The scale of Di’s concept is astounding.
Your fashion film ‘Future Body’ explores digital aesthetics, where the fashion body performs in hyper-reality. Where did you get the inspiration for this?
The aesthetics of Future Body was developed through a collaborative process with other digital artists. References include Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (c.1929) and cult Manga Ghost in the Shell but I am also informed importantly by theory – so Donna Haraway’s Cyborgism and Jean Baudrillard’s theories on hyper-reality and the simulacrum were key frameworks for developing the concept.
How do you think digital technology and advances are changing fashion?
In terms of material culture, digital technology is helping the 21st Century define its own style – for example 3D printing allows the creation of forms and shapes not structurally possible in fashion previously. The way in which we consume fashion and fashion media is being altered drastically by advances in digital technologies, with Virtual Reality all set to be a game changer in this industry. We expect our fashion spaces of consumption to be as mobile as we are; we expect fashion to keep up with the level of interactivity and immersiveness that digital technologies are allowing for.
Are these changes for the better, or for the worse?
Advancements in digital technology entail macro changes in our environment, so this is not really a question of better or worse. It rather offers a case for adaptation and evolution. Digital fashion is one of the most exciting forms of conceptualising dress and offers new terrain for exploring questions of identity in the humanities.
Where do you see fashion going in the next five years, can digital create a more sustainable industry?
Awareness around issues of sustainability seems to be reaching popular culture and it is interesting that the enabling factors are digital. The apparel supply chain is increasingly aware of the need to adapt to these shifts in mindset. The digital also assists design and prototyping by creators, who can now market and sell commercially feasible products directly to consumers using digital platforms. We will hopefully therefore see even more of greener, sustainable fashion in the next five years. As a recent graduate I feel that support to students interested in the different faces of digital fashion is crucial, as innovative thinking is often seeded at that level of development.
- Find out more about MA Fashion Photography
- Find out more about other courses available at LCF
- Watch Nirma’s film here
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