Queens of the Metaverse Explored
The fashion industry has embraced the virtual world with remarkable success in the modern era. Before the Queens of the Metaverse event, renowned brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana, and others had demonstrated how fashion can flourish in the digital realm. The convergence of technology and fashion is opening up new avenues for innovation and creativity.
Meta (previously known as Facebook) organized a unique virtual drag show in London last year. This article aims to delve into the details of this event, exploring what it entailed and whether Mark Zuckerberg's vision of the Metaverse lived up to its considerable hype.
Queens of the Metaverse - What is it?
Queens of the Metaverse was the first drag show in the Metaverse using mixed reality. The virtual drag show was powered by Meta and held on 8 September, 2022, in London. It featured emerging digital fashion designers who used virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) to design garments. The show also aimed to promote queer creativity.
The show aimed to showcase how VR and AR can help create immersive and interactive experiences. For this reason, the designers opted for tools such as digital avatars, virtual design technology, Horizon Workrooms, and others. They came up with three costume designs and then turned them into physical outfits.
Three creative fashion designers were part of this virtual show. Nwora Emenike, Christie Lau, and Sal Mohammed were the designers, and they represented the LGBTQ+ community. Three drag artists wore their Metaverse-inspired outfits and walked on the ramp.
Drag queens on the virtual drag show
The drag queens for Meta's show include three renowned names in fashion. They are:
Blu Hydrangea - They are the prizewinner of the "RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs. The World" show and wore the costume designed by Nwora Emenike.
Tia Kofi - They are known for their pop music and appearance in season 2 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs The World” show.
Adam All - A non-binary British drag king. They wore an outfit designed by Christie Lau. The outfit was a classic two-piece that depicted hyper-masculine features.
Overall, the costumes of the drag queens on the show portrayed the themes of gender identity and expression. According to the designers, their experiences as members of queer community inspired these designs. Also, they noted that the AR/VR tech and Metaverse provided them with a platform to experiment with their designs.
Meta’s Metaverse isn’t fully developed yet
Although Meta's mixed reality drag show has created a new genre, Metaverse still has a long way to go. Meta shared a two-minute video clip of the show, which showed artists and designers expressing their opinions and experiences.
Unfortunately, the video seemed too basic and did not depict how Metaverse tech is actually being used for the drag show. Besides, the use of AR and VR was far from what one would expect from a virtual world.
The Independent published a piece by Tia Kofi where they wrote, “While it’s clear that the metaverse is in its early stages, I’ve been amazed by how prominent queer talent, creatives, designers, and technicians are in bringing their star power to its development.”
So, even though the creativity of the drag acts and designers was notable, Meta’s Metaverse itself failed to leave a mark.
In today's digital age, the fashion industry is harnessing the power of new technologies to drive innovation. A notable example of this is Meta's mixed reality drag show in the Metaverse, which provided a platform for artists and designers from the LGBTQ+ community to showcase their creativity and self-expression. This event highlights the growing role of the Metaverse as a medium for fostering artistic expression and pushing the boundaries of creativity.
Author: Wasay Ali
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