Anrealage Spring 2017 Ready-to-Wear Paris Fashion Week
Our world is increasingly experienced through screens. We have them in our homes and at our offices, we carry them in our pockets, we stare at them in our hands as we walk down the street. They feed us information, companionship, affirmation, community, and content that is shaped by digital gatekeepers—be they coders, programmers, or the people who created that screen or that content—and the difference between the realities of what we see in real life and what we have screened for us can be breathtaking, provided that we ever come up for air. So few blinked when Kunihiko Morinaga—no stranger to technological trickery, or playing with the concept of perception—delivered show notes explaining that his Spring clothes for Anrealage had “augmented reality receptors” built in to them and would be seen twice, once on the runway and once through the iPads stationed along the front row. The majority of the world will never see these clothes in person, after all. If you think about it, this is the future.
Morinaga’s silhouettes tended toward the ample: flowing caped cocoon shapes and skirts, wide slit-leg trousers, tops with trenchcoat detailing, and boxy shifts with thick black bands binding the biceps to the body. All were black and white, and all would be affected by the AR readers, which showed hidden messages and motifs, or played sounds (created by Ichiro Yamaguchi of Sakanaction) that were inspired by the messaging. (The shifts, which boasted torso-length words like “High,” or “Silence,” simply repeated that word aloud, rather matter-of-factly.) The AR app, called Anrealage_AR3, will be made available to the public for free after October 3. The show notes stated that augmented reality is related to a more general concept called mediated reality, “in which a view of reality is modified (perhaps even diminished, rather than augmented) by a computer.” Admittedly, it didn’t add as much as you wanted here.