Taylor, Andrew and Unver, Ertu (2007) Mutating the realities in fashion design: virtual clothing for 3D avatars. In: Extreme Fashion: Pushing the Boundaries of Design, Technology and Business: Conference Proceedings 2007 (IFFTI Conference Proceedings). Centre for Learning and Teaching in Art and Design (CLTAD), pp. 362-378. ISBN 9780954143978

“My fantasy is to be Uma Thurman in Kill Bill…and now I can… I’d pay $10 for her yellow jumpsuit and sword moves and I’m sure other people would too…
Hundreds and thousands of humans living in different time zones around the world are choosing to re-create and express themselves as three dimensional avatars in 3D virtual online worlds: An avatar is defined as an interactive 3D image or character, representing a user in a multi-user virtual world/virtual reality space. 3D virtual online worlds such as Second Life, and There, offer low entry costs, to actively encourage user generated content and creative social development projects. The residents of Second Life are in full control of their avatars through a highly visual, interactive software interface of 3D tools. Consumer buying trends in both virtual and physical worlds are merging through faster bandwidth and integrated 2D and 3D technologies. Fashion, identity and styling your avatar, is possibly one of the most consistently, popular activities in virtual worlds. Fashion business is booming in 3D virtual worlds; and clothing designers are experimenting with design, manufacture, marketing and promotion. In Second Life men’s and women’s wear designers are creating diverse ranges of styles, using digitized buttons and fabrics, and using 3D physics tools to simulate the movement. There is also a huge boutique market selling unique and unusual made to measure creations for uninhibited virtual customers, and for the less adventurous high street fashion and sportswear ranges are now available in virtual worlds. 3D Virtual worlds can provide powerful 3D design communication and visualization tools for fashion learners and the clothing/textile industries. This paper discusses the potential for fashion students and academics in using 3D virtual worlds for teaching and learning in fashion education. The main section of the paper outlines the 2D-3D digital design process for changing the appearance of the avatar and designing clothing in Second Life.


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