Redesigning The Future: LCF students team up with Microsoft to conceptualise innovative fashion technology
Six groups of students worked with Microsoft as part of our Accelerating the Future of Fashion programme, developing prototypes for disruptive fashion-focused tech concepts over three months.
From mixed reality garment design and customisation to DeepFake AI advertising that personalises the consumer experience, all of the projects in this year’s programme demonstrate a wealth of creativity and forward-thinking solutions. Responding to real modern-day issues within fashion, the students were supported by LCF's Fashion Innovation Agency to create and present unique disruptive prototypes ready to transform the industry – powered by Microsoft’s software, hardware, cloud computing and AI technology.
Art Z: created by Ashwini Suhas Deshpande | BA Fashion Design and Development
Art-Z utilises Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning via Microsoft Azure cloud computing to reduce the fabric wasted at the pattern cutting stage of garment creation. The software will analyse a designer’s garment patterns and assess how much waste or offcut material there would be. Then it would suggest a new amended pattern which has far less wastage than the original, with the eventual goal of developing a “zero- waste” pattern. The program, responsive to feedback from the user, will create additional seams on a garment pattern, so that the patterns can be laid on the fabric in a manner that minimises waste while remaining aesthetically pleasing.
Art-Z was chosen for further development, allowing Ashwini to travel to Microsoft US and work with specialists to strengthen this concept into a viable business solution.
Brick and Pixel: created by Abdul Haseeb Azizi, Julia Karolina Frey and Noelia Fernández Galiana | MA Strategic Fashion Marketing
The aim of the project is to create an extraordinary consumer in-store retail experience through sensory storytelling in the fitting room, utilising a combination of smart mirrors, RFID tags and Microsoft ́s Kinect technology. Brick & Pixel’s long-term business strategy is to become a bespoke agency who use technological means to revolutionise traditional retail.
E.M.I: created by Andrew Le Casse | BA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear
E.M.I. aims to place the user in an augmented, collaborative design space where the consumer has greater freedom to alter the aesthetic outcome of their garment. It is a mixed reality design tool/experience, utilising Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, through which the user can amend a virtual garment on a real mannequin, displayed in accurate scaling. Using gesture control and drop-down menus to perform a variety of predefined edits to various aspects of the garment, E.M.I. allows for a form of collaborative co-design between designer and user, resulting in a final virtual garment which can then be sent off for manufacture.
Perfume Experiential Discovery – created by Costas Kazantzis | MA Fashion Media Production and Eirini Batakis | MSc Strategic Fashion Management
This project uses Microsoft’s HoloLens headset in conjunction with smart sensor technology to reinterpret retail and give customers the chance to experience a product ahead of purchase. The idea is centred around the creation of a bespoke perfume but can be applied in several other industries e.g. garments, jewellery, consumables. It can be used as a tool to help customers pick ingredients and create a unique product in an entertaining, interactive and informative way. It can also be used to augment products with virtual content and convey shareable multi-sensory stories related to their origin and history, allowing consumers to immerse themselves in the playful, dynamic experience from various locations.
Perfume Experiential Discovery was chosen for further development with Microsoft UK upon release of their HoloLens 2 headset.
Rixlea: created by Leah Hoy | BA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear and Rielle Park | MSc Strategic Fashion Management
Rixlea utilises Microsoft’s HoloLens headset in conjunction with wearable sensor technologies to create a mixed reality experience designed to help athletes recover from and prevent injuries in training. The wearable sensors will gather movement data from the user and record information about the position of their limbs. It will then create a “ghost limb” overlay in the headset which moves in the correct manner, allowing the user to mimic the ghost limb for rehabilitation. Rixlea offers a simple and intuitive interface for completing a series of exercises and highlighting potential further injuries that could be caused by incorrect movements.
Swapp - created by Helen Wang and Joanna Lanceley | MSc Strategic Fashion Management
Swapp uses “DeepFake” technology and harnesses the power of Microsoft Azure to realistically swap the users head into fun brand content to personalise their experience and increase engagement. From short fashion films and advertisements to GIFs, the end product can be shared to create organic marketing content for brands and micro-influencers. The software follows a “capture - process - output” model and can be tailored depending on a given brand’s style and message.
Matthew Drinkwater, Head of LCF’s Fashion Innovation Agency says, “by building scalable ideas across Artificial Intelligence, Mixed Reality, and the Internet of Things, Microsoft and London College of Fashion will showcase a road map towards truly digital fashion and retail businesses.”
Maruschka Loubser, Director of Brand Partnerships and Campaigns at Microsoft says, “for the second year in a row, we are blown away by the creativity and invention of the students at London College of Fashion.”
The showcase took place at Old Spitalfields Market on 4 June 2019. This year’s Accelerating the Future of Fashion programme received coverage in several publications including Forbes.
Find out more about Collaborative Unit at LCF