Dolce & Gabbana unveiled a bespoke collection of 20 full looks for metaverse wearables with NFT platform UNXD during the recent MFW. Credit: Dolce & Gabbana

Would you like to dress your digital avatars as well as you dress your corporeal self? Fashion designers are betting that you did, with the launch of the first Metaverse Fashion Week (MFW) that ran from March 24 to March 27 on the popular metaverse platform Decentraland.

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Opened to just about anyone with a computer and an internet connection, Metaverse Fashion Week featured runway shows, after-parties and pop-up events, all centred around stunning digital garments, some of which can be programmed to dress your virtual selves.

Metaverse Fashion Week
Credit:Auroboros

London-based virtual fashion brand Auroboros was a participant of MFW.

Dolce & Gabbana, Etro, Cavalli, Paco Rabanne, Tommy Hilfiger, Nicholas Kirkwood and Elie Saab were just some of the big brands participating in MFW, buoyed by the idea that fashion lovers want the power of fashion to transform their virtual lives as much as their physical reality.

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In fact, the metaverse offers even more fantastical options than the real world: As an avatar, you can easily select your body shape, skin tone and hair style, and dress the alternate you in clothes that can change colours, sprout flowers, shed diamonds or blaze like a supernova.

There are now thousands of digital-only or digital-first brands creating clothes for virtual avatars, such as The Fabricant, Dress X and Auroboros – all three of which are also participating in MFW.

Charles & Keith debuts cryptocurrency during MFW. Credit: Charles & Keith

Among the brands repping Singapore was Charles & Keith. The accessories giant debuted cryptocurrency that can be used for purchases on its e-commerce site – becoming the first homegrown fashion brand to offer such a payment mode.

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There was also Brytehall, a premium NFT marketplace that presented a conceptual pop-up showroom called Fashion Eden on the rooftop of the Cash Labs art gallery and screening space. Fashion Eden was a virtual garden enveloping fashion and art pieces curated by Hong Kong-based collective The Meta Art Club.

Metaverse Fashion Week
Credit:Brytehall

Inside the Metaverse Fashion Week, NFT marketplace Brytehall created Fashion Eden, where a sea of flowers surrounded several fashion and art NFTs.

The pieces were created by The MetaArt Club artist and digital couturier Niccolo Casas and digital video artist FrankNitty3000, and auctioned as NFTs on Brytehall.

Inspired by water’s transformation states from vapour to liquid and solid, Casas has created a phygital couture piece seemingly constructed out of ice crystals.

The buyer of the NFT will have the opportunity to have a 3D-printed version of the dress, priced at US$33,000 (S$44,600), that includes the digital atelier process of customisation and fitting the dress to the buyer’s body.

Metaverse Fashion Week
Credit:Rex Tsui

Inspired by water’s transformation from vapour to liquid and solid, digital couturier Niccolo Casas created a phygital couture dress that was up for auction as an NFT. The dress was worn by Olympic athlete Cecilia Yeung for a video art NFT (pictured) created by video artist FrankNitty3000.

Casas’ couture dress was also reimagined as an edition of 25 art NFTs, while a phygital bracelet was up for sale as an edition of 15 NFTs, complete with a 3D-printed bracelet by Casas, made of recycled bio-resin.

Meanwhile, FrankNitty3000 – who has worked with Gucci, Burberry, Louboutin and Dior – offered 12 high-resolution animated NFTs featuring Hong Kong Olympic high-jumper Cecilia Yeung wearing Casas’ digital couture dress.

According to blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis, the NFT market surpassed US$40 billion (S$54.1 billion) in 2021. With nearly every luxury brand now embracing the technology, the fashion NFT industry is estimated to be worth around US$10 billion (S$13.5 billion) in 2022.

A version of this article first appeared in The Business Times