The way Gen Z communicates and uses digital products today gives us a glimpse of the digital world as it will be in the near future. What can we learn from this Post-Internet generation? We will look into Next Gen Design at Design Matters 20, with some young and talented Gen Z designers who will help us imagine possible futures affecting the direction of technology and society (get a Live-stream ticket).
Together with Cisor Studio — the edgy, feminist, avant-garde creative studio that built The Wørmhole — we put together a list of five Next Gen designers who are reinventing the way in which fashion is understood and consumed.
1. Helena Dong
Originally from Australia, Helena Dong is a New York-based fashion designer who works to advance the technical realms of fashion. She works for the high-end clothing brand Dion Lee, but at the same time, she also uses her talent and skills to create AR Instagram filters — which don’t require any physical material, are instantaneously gratifying, and can reach large audiences with no up-front costs.
Helena shows that it is possible to deploy different types of available resources to expand the artistic process. Her keen interest in performance, interactive and process art, has made her a unique multi-faceted fashion designer. This interest was already clear in her graduate project Scissors, Calculator and a Beige Coat, whichfeatures a collection of clothing, an interactive narrative, and an online performance.
2. Panama Papers Office
Panama Papers Office is an image and creative consultancy based in Paris that specializes in web design and printing. The name of this company is a reference to the Panama Papers. These documents revealed that the Pakistani president’s children were linked to a number of luxury apartments in London, which opposition parties claimed were bought with cash obtained through corruption. The Joint Investigation Team accused the president’s daughter of forgery, because of a copy of a trust deed she claimed to have signed in February 2006. The deed was written in the font Calibri, which wasn’t widely available until January 2007, and therefore, the JIT alleged that the document was fake. Even Lucas De Groot, the designer of the font, participated in the case.
The care for details that pushed the designers of this consultancy to adopt this name is the same that goes into all of their projects, exhibitions, and publications. Metallic textures, fluid-looking fonts, human figures, and people in quirky poses are often juxtaposed to convey a unique futuristic feel.
3. Baptiste Kucharski
Baptiste Kucharski is a graphic and 3D designer based in Nantes, France, whose work is strongly inspired by contemporary fashion. He binds together a logical, mathematical approach with creativity. This combination results in mysterious, complex, and fascinating shapes and human figures, which can be provoking and, at the same time, wildly unsettling.
Baptiste’s predominant subjects are women. The style of their work often has a glazed or HD texture, which makes it look realistic, but distinctly digitalised. The preference for this style comes from a fascination with the video games of the early 2000, such as Tekken, Silent Hill or Resident Evil, that have shaped the artist’s aesthetic since since an early age. The 3D characters in these video games not only are aesthetically pleasing, but they also have a background story and visible emotions, exactly like Baptiste’s art.
4. Sarah Nicole Francois
Sara Nicole Francois is a digital artist from Haiti, and also che creator of the fashion brand 000SPORTWEAR. Defining her style as bold, edgy, and provocative is an understatement; revealing and sexy, dominated by black, with elements of the gang subculture — such as face tattoos, chains, and guns — with strong references to the BDSM culture through the use of latex, spiked chokers, snake-like ropes constricting bodies. All these elements blend together in a unique and borderline-twisted way.
Sarah has also created an AR Instagram filter that is in line with her aesthetics. They look is demoniac and the texture of the skin is shiny, resembling glass.
5. Trashy Muse
Based in Berlin, and coming from a marketing background, Trashy Muse is a group of artists on a mission to entertain and educate people about the possibilities of new technologies to remove the fear of progress. By creating digital clothing and accessories that exist only online, they push the boundaries of augmented and virtual design into the mainstream.
Everyone is well aware of the huge co2 footprint caused by the fashion industry. Digital fashion and 3D garments are now becoming so realistic that they could help in terms of sustainability. They would help save money and resources on logistics, sample production, and materials. AR is closing the gap between buying online and offline. Many brands have already started integrating AR into their customer experience, allowing customers to try their product on in AR before buying it. In a moment in time where most of the shops have to shut down because of the pandemic, AR fashion is becoming more relevant than ever.https://www.instagram.com/p/CD9VnPPIFcE/embed/?cr=1&rd=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.instagram.com
Trashy Muse, for the first time in the history of fashion, put together a digitally imagined fashion show for SS20. They built feminine virtual avatar with a nostalgic 2000s design, maintaining a light-hearted approach.