Fashion designer Angus Chiang creates vibrant designs inspired by Internet culture. During Paris Fashion Week, he collaborated with HTC VIVE Arts to create Oh My Almighty God! - the first-ever Taiwanese augmented reality fashion show, which was followed by a VR Exhibition and Showroom. Chiang spoke to us about the inspiration behind his practice, and the revolutionary impact technology can have on the future of fashion.
What is the philosophy behind your work?
As always, color, humor, and a sense of joviality.
Your project ‘Oh My Almighty God!’ used augmented reality to transform the traditional catwalk experience. What inspired you to explore a medium that is not typically associated with fashion?
Every season it’s our mission to do something different. Nowadays, technology is advancing rapidly, so I felt it was time that we merged tech into our show and our collection – and that the results could be impressive. I’ve admired the special effects in movies for a long time, which was also a factor that inspired me to bring something unusual to my audience.
‘Oh My Almighty God!’ debuted at Paris Fashion Week. How did audiences respond to a new and innovative format?
Honestly, I think there were “Hmms” in my audience’s minds when the first model came out! But I think any initial hesitation quickly turned to “wow” as people got sucked into the world we’d created.
Your work is characterized by vibrant color and bold designs. Are these enhanced by augmented reality?
Color and boldness are kind of in my DNA. My designs relate to the environment and life that I’ve experienced. AR undoubtedly helps to convey that in a more powerful way.
What was your experience of working with augmented reality for the first time? How did it challenge or change your creative process?
It was fun and pretty cool – though also more complicated than I imagined! The technical components of the project were most challenging: I had to put myself in the position of my audience and assess whether the effects I was created were as engaging and exciting as they could be. I also sought to avoid techniques that I felt had been widely used by others already. That meant the process involved a lot of discussions and revisions, to achieve the perfect result.
How can technology change the way we experience fashion?
Technology can make fashion more accessible to the public. I think most people still view fashion as something that is separate from their real lives and is costly. Technology makes it easier to engage with fashion without spending significant sums of money, by transforming it into an ‘experience’ – that’s something that’s particularly important to me.
What does the future hold for the fashion and innovative new technology?
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the way that brands and companies operate. In order to reduce the economic impact of the crisis, brands are increasingly focusing on the online aspects of their business, and we’re seeing a lot of growth in this area. Innovative new technology will undoubtedly come to play a crucial role in the way that bricks and mortar retailers operate.