Maisie Wilen’s Hologram Fashion Show Pushed Boundaries

Maisie Schloss may have only founded her brand Maisie Wilen in 2019, but she’s already become a major name in the next generation of emerging designers. And while physical fashion shows forge ahead, some designers are perfectly ok with keeping things digital, if it pushes the boundaries in a creative way.

“I really wanted to explore what makes something that’s real feel unreal and vice versa,” the designer told us backstage, at her fall 2022 hologram presentation, which was the first of its kind at New York Fashion Week. “It’s about pushing visuals that make somebody question their reality. So, I did that through optic prints, a few textiles that trick the eye, holographic vinyl, matte sequins and more.”

The genius in this was that it was not just the clothing that was op-art, but also the entire presentation. Guests wandered into the dark, booming room to see hyper real projections of models wearing the collection all over the wall. “It really makes viewers have this uncanny experience of something very digital, but also very live at the same time.” Schloss partnered with Yahoo for the occasion, and that digital mindset informed everything. “I was like, ‘oh my God, what if everything was a hologram?; You know, what if we had this real tension in the show of a live experience versus, you know, something that is ultimately prerecorded on a loop.”

Ultimately, it made sense for the brand to blend digital with physical. The designer herself focuses on a fully digital design process, and the op art prints on the clothing also spoke heavily to the aesthetic. “My entire design process is digital,” she said. “I design all the prints on my computer, myself, all of the messaging around the brand is always really digitally driven.”

One thing Schloss is also known for are dramatic, unexpected details and fun collaborations. Last season, Kim Petras performed at her early morning show for example. For fall 2022, she collaborated with Monster High, the eclectic doll franchise on colorful skull earrings. “Their characters are obviously inspired by monsters, but also so intertwined in fashion,” she said. “They were the inspiration for a lot of the special effects makeup looks. Then additionally, we made human size versions of their accessories.” Then there were the Keds shoes, completely decked out in massive metal spikes, faux fur, and the very same op-art prints that we saw on sheer tops and dresses. The kind of wardrobe we could see ourselves wearing in a fully digital future.

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