Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Felicita Gāga has turned the practice of doomscrolling into a digital outfit.
The project, called Threads of Influence, centres around “a digital dress made of social media noise, similarly uncomfortable to embrace and yet too addictive to let go of completely”.
The dress is formed of a fast-moving feed of images and videos
Gāga wanted to create a wearable design that embodied the sheer volume of digital content she experiences on a daily basis.
“If I am bombarded with this social media content every day without actively choosing it, why can’t I incorporate these influences into something as personal as clothing?” she told Dezeen.
The design is intended to embody social-media culture
Using green-screen technology, Gāga has produced a film that shows a young woman wearing her digital dress. Its appearance is constantly changing, as it cycles through different visuals.
In the initial scenes, the dress takes the form of various traditional Latvian folk outfits.
As time goes on, these images are replaced by a fast-moving feed of images and videos that reflect the type of content that Gāga is typically fed on her social media feeds.
Latvian folkwear was the starting point for the design
The content becomes increasingly random and noisy, featuring a vast range of YouTube DIY tutorials, music videos, television clips, memes, celebrity content and animal videos.
“I wanted to turn my research into a story that’s deeply personal, one that reflects my own experiences with scrolling through digital content,” the designer explained.
“My goal was to create a modern folk tale that could connect with people today, especially those who use social media.”
As with this traditional dress, Gāga wanted to draw from her surrounding environment
Gāga had originally intended to design a physical fashion collection.
She planned to explore how traditional Latvian folkwear could be fused with contemporary streetwear. However, she found it difficult to detach the historic designs from their original context.
This is because the colours, patterns and shapes of these garments were not just aesthetic choices, but designed according to the resources that were readily available from the surrounding landscape.
This led her to create a design that replicates the experience of doomscrolling
She decided to adopt the same approach, but instead of drawing from the physical landscape, she used the digital world as the source for her dress design.
“I came to realise that my phone is an integral part of my immediate reality,” she said. “I wanted to be honest about that and showcase the ‘new digital nature’ that I live in.”
She hopes the design will draw attention to the way that social-media culture shapes the way people experience the world.
“The rapid editing of the scrolling evokes empathy for the young woman, as she is constantly bombarded with new information that she must carry with her,” she said.
The content becomes increasingly noisy and random
The designer created the visuals for the dress by manually stitching together visuals and clips, but she is interested in exploring whether the design could be automatically generated from a live feed.
Gāga believes the design could have future applications in the metaverse
With digital fashion now a fast-growing industry – with its very own fashion week – she believes the design could be replicated in a video game or metaverse environment.
“I can imagine people dressing up in my digital dress at metaverse rave parties,” Gāga added. “And if Mark Zuckerberg were to extend an invitation for a metaverse meeting, you can be certain that I’d proudly wear this dress.”
Another Design Academy Eindhoven graduate, Hsin Min Chan, has designed a dress that aims to make its wearer unapproachable.
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