25 years ago, the teen comedy film Clueless first aired in the United States. One of the movie’s iconic scenes saw its main character, Cher Horowitz picking out her school clothes using a virtual wardrobe application on her computer. This feature may have been a work of fiction then, but it had effectively addressed the age-old problem that many women face in deciding what to wear each day.
Today, virtual mirrors are a common sight in major fashion retail stores, as with chatbots that help to address customers’ concerns and needs almost instantly. Technological advancements have brought about an endless stream of possibilities in shaping the way we interact with fashion, and among the progressive group of brands and creatives who are actively exploring the dynamics between the two is Singaporean content creator Nicole Wong.
From previewing different angles of a Moncler x Simone Richa coat using a ‘virtual mirror’ to ‘trying’ on Longchamp’s Spring/Summer 2020’s outfits with a swipe of her hand, all it takes is a quick browse through Nicole’s Instagram profile for you to learn that she has a knack for creating cool, futuristic-looking fashion content that makes her stand out from other fashionistas.
On her Instagram story highlights, you’ll also discover her passion for creating fun, Instagram face filters. Did we mention that she has recently developed her very own 3D virtual human too? “I’ve always been drawn to technology and in discovering different forms of technological expression, be it through digital photography to the use of editing programmes. I actually studied Video Art in school too. Plus, my older brother was a tech guy so I guess I became interested in it because of him as well,” Nicole shares.
Nicole’s journey into the world of 3D and Augmented Reality (AR) started when Facebook’s SPARK AR software was made available to the public. Since then, she’s created a variety of tech-inspired fashion content featuring brands such as Coach, Hermes and Louis Vuitton.
When quizzed about the most special piece of work that she’s produced thus far, Nicole shared that it’s difficult to choose just one. “I can never name a list of my favourites because I am constantly trying to do more, do better and try new things! But I guess my project with Kenzo parfums will always have a special place in my heart as that was my very first project where I was able to integrate 3D elements into my videos," she confesses.
Being the innovative content creator that she is, Nicole did not let COVID-19 dampen her spirit in showcasing her unique perspectives with her community. Apart from spending time on upgrading her skills, she also published a series of videos that depicted the importance of staying digitally connected with loved ones in the midst of a pandemic.
Nicole shares her reason for doing so: “I believe the younger generation grew up in a time where technology is already so integrated into their life, hence they’re used to being intimate online and would find less of a need for human interaction in comparison to the generation before them. However, I’d like to think that as humans, it’s in our nature to form meaningful, physical connections with one another. Perhaps the ideal way of living is to have a balance of both.”
Speaking of striking a balance between virtual and physical worlds, Nicole also added that technology should only go as far as complementing not completely replacing the way we interact with fashion in the near future. “It’s true that the fashion industry has tapped on digital technology as a solution in showcasing their designs to their consumers during COVID-19, however, I believe that tech has always played a major role in shaping the future of fashion. The process has just been accelerated due to the pandemic.
That being said, as much as humans love the convenience and possibilities that arise from tech, tech can never replace the experience of feeling and touching products in-store,” Nicole reveals.
Would you want to own a virtual wardrobe? Why or why not?
(Cover photo from: @ncwong)
Now, let’s hit rewind as we check in with a few millennials and their take on the nostalgia trend.