Scarlett Yang on Digital Couture and The Maker’s First Season


Hong Kong-born Central Saint Martins (CSM) graduate Scarlett Yang fully embraces the experimentation that digital fashion offers, creating ethereal, alien pieces that seem drawn from the dreams of couture shows and science-fiction movies. fiction. The designer was therefore the perfect addition to the first-ever digital fashion season, currently hosted by The Manufacturer.

The digital fashion house launched Season 1 on its NFT platform, The Fabricator Studio, on February 7, allowing guests to strike two free NFTs using digital fabrics from 14 creatives, including Yang. His capsule for The Maker combines gaming avatar inspiration with human biology, exploring how clothing and movement also shape identity in the virtual world. In total, there were 45,000 unique combinations of fabrics available for people to produce their NFTs, reflecting just how innovative and expansive the opportunities are when it comes to digital creation, as well as how collaborations can unfold so transparent.

In the metaverse, fashion expression seems to be slowly but surely emerging with collaborations from games like Gucci + Roblox and Louis Vuitton + League of Legends. And The Maker plans to drive this evolution, said Michaela Larosse, chief content and strategy officer. “How we present ourselves digitally will be our point of contact with everyone we meet in these virtual spaces. The easiest way to express yourself in a virtual space is to wear what you wear. Studio clothes will have utility on gaming platforms, so you can wear them in-game, as well as trade and collect them.

Digital fashion expression seems to be slowly but surely emerging in the metaverse, with gaming collaborations such as Gucci + Roblox and Louis Vuitton + League of Legends.

Perhaps this will give players a chance to dress more overtly fashion-forward than everyday life allows, such as wearing a Yang piece to socialize in Animal Crossing or Roblox. With the launch of The Maker Season 1 and the growing appeal of digital fashion, Collaborations and Jing drops decided to discuss space and the inaugural season with one of today’s most exciting talents: Scarlett Yang.

Why did you choose to enter the field of digital fashion as a student?

“There was a period in my teenage years where I was very passionate about the subculture of digital gaming, anime, and cosplay, which shaped a lot of my outlook on fashion. At that time- there I really enjoyed dressing up as fictional characters with friends through costumes, makeup, wigs, and computer special effects I think the contemporary reality for our generation has been that our digital “transformations” are still a much of our own identities.

Even before and during my studies at CSM, I experimented with different fashion concepts and mediums to re-imagine digital fashion as avatar identities. I saw huge potential as digital lifestyles play a key role in our current social life. It gives so much freedom to dress dramatically and expressively in the digital realm rather than the physical realm, with its drastic reduction in material waste to produce its physical equivalent.

One of Scarlett Yang’s ethereal virtual looks was featured in vogue singapore September issue. Photo: vogue singapore

Has digital fashion been fully embraced at the CSM?

“As I entered my final year, digital integration for fashion started to gain a lot more adoption. My tutors supported me in my exploration of this new way of doing fashion and advised me on how to design great fashion, whether physical or digital, I was experimenting with using algorithms as part of my design process to generate 3D garment silhouettes and shapes, which was, of in a way, very unusual for a student project at CSM, but the school was open and critical of my results, as usual.

Six months before the start of the pandemic, I offered to submit purely digital pieces as a thesis. However, due to traditional academic requirements, students could not graduate with a non-physical collection. At that time, I had planned to present my graduate collection made of biodegradable materials which gradually dissolve during the final showcase – then appear in its virtual format, representing eternity. But I believe the curriculum and the rules within institutions like CSM and the industry are changing now.

Have you always planned to enter the NFT space as a digital designer?

“Yes. NFT and blockchain fashion is something I have studied in depth since I started creating 3D fashion in 2018. For the NFT space, I paid a lot of attention while remaining careful. I have strategic plans for design in the metaverse, and clean NFTs are one of them. I only work with clean blockchain technologies that don’t consume large amounts of power.

What is your current relationship with NFTs?

“Because I have a hybrid academic background in technology engineering and design, I’m rather critical about the deployment of NFT fashion. I examine the technical specifics and philosophy of a blockchain platform or company before Engage in new projects I research where and how to release my own NFT pieces, always making sure they align with my vision of sustainable design.

What do you hope to get out of your collaboration with The Manufacturer studio?

“The co-creation aspect of this collaboration with The Fabricator Studio is definitely a very unique experience. I would love to see how multiple digital creators can be involved in collaboration to create the final NFT result. I would also love to get feedback from co -creators and other users on their first-hand experiences of this one-of-a-kind concept.”

How would you describe the clothes you have created on The Manufacturer?

“For people familiar with games and the metaverse, ‘skin’ is a term that represents the clothes of an avatar character. At the same time, this word is also the human biological organ strongly attached to our physical body. So, what would our virtual “skin” look like?

A dress designed by Scarlett Yang that is customized with fabric created by digital artist Krista Kim. Credit: The Manufacturer Studio

This capsule collection [膚 in Chinese] explores virtual human wear. In the metaverse, we run, fight and dance. Our movements become part of our skin, using our clothes as our identity. Clothing boils down to the very essence of a virtual avatar, and each garment reinvents the way our sensual body moves in the digital realm is part of our new selves.

Where do you see your career as a digital fashion designer?

“With both a traditional fashion background and experiences in new tech realms, I’m hybridizing my practice to explore new digital fashion aesthetics and create innovative style concepts for the metaverse. I plan to produce more ‘unprecedented experiences to “wear” digitally through immersive experiences, VR/AR, visual magazine editorials, and apparel for gaming through collaborations and partnerships with brands and arts organizations.”

For more insight on the latest collabs, sign up for the Collabs and Drops newsletter here.


Comments are closed.