You might not have given augmented reality much thought, but chances are you use it every day (hello, Snapchat lenses!). And, although virtual reality gets a lot of hype, augmented reality (AR) has the potential to take us much further, at least according to fashion designer Kailu Guan. While we've all been snapping pics using the dog filter while posing with our actual dogs, Guan has been using this technology to allow her clothing to tell richly woven stories inspired by a Japanese mountain town.
For her, it all started with Hermès. While a student at Parsons School of Design, Guan participated in a challenge: help the luxury brand make a concept to sell their famous scarves on a digital platform. When Guan began looking at an AR tool that Hermès had created for their perfumes as an example, her eyes opened to a whole new world of fashion and technology. "Before, the perfume was just a smell to me," Guan says. "With the AR app, I scan the perfume and now I know the story behind it. I know how people created it. I know if it was made with flowers or wood. It was a very intimate interaction."
Using screen printing, Guan translated her patterns into computer code that her AR app could read and transform into video, sounds, and 3-D shapes for the pieces in her thesis collection. Since graduating last June, the 23-year-old designer has continued to develop these ideas under the name KG Projects, extending her work of endowing clothing with multiple meanings. "It has different lives," she says. "What you see through the media will tell you a lot more than what you see in real life." Put another way, the new digital tale creates more of a relationship between the wearer and the designer.
Now, see each of Guan's looks, then watch them transform in an exciting video!
For this transformative video, a music writer friend of Guan's specially composed the music.
For more on Guan and KG Projects, see kailuguan.com.