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Coperni RTW Spring 2023

Earlier this year, Bella Hadid was scanned in 3D to create her CY-B3LLA range of NFTs, sending out 11,111 digital versions of herself in the metaverse.

On Friday, the model walked onto a runway in Paris wearing nothing but a thong and stepped onto a podium, where two men proceeded to spray her with a chemical solution, gradually covering her naked body in a white layer. Welcome to the world’s first live-action spray-on dress.

Technology and fashion have always been uneasy bedfellows, but if anyone can make science sexy, then it’s Coperni designers Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer, who partnered with Dr. Manel Torres, the inventor of the Spray-on fabric, for the performance.

The geekery didn’t end there. The designers recorded a video of a flower blossoming, and used it to print layers on lenticular fabric to create a hologram. Dresses made from the fabric appeared in the collection and on Kylie Jenner, who sat in the front row. 

Backstage before the show, the married couple, who finish each other’s sentences, said: “It’s an homage to women in general, and the evolution of the morphology and the body through centuries.”

A jacket attached to the back of a dress subtly alluded to the crinolines of the past, yet Vaillant and Meyer are clearly more interested in the future. Outfits with boxy power shoulders were inspired by the block-shaped avatars on game platform Roblox, while a clingy dress with a slashed neckline was a nod to the woman in the red dress in “The Matrix.”

Stripping out all the sci-fi stuff, there were plenty of wearable clothes in the lineup, which checked this season’s trend for boudoir styles, with outfits like negligees pulled diagonally over one shoulder, and paired smashing tailored pants with cropped versions of the bomber jacket, the trench coat and the corduroy jacket.

Following the success of their handblown glass Swipe handbag last season, Arnaud and Vaillant imagined a version made with one kilogram of 18-karat gold, which will be melted down after the show. Likewise, Hadid’s dress can be dissolved and the material reused.

“You can recreate a dress infinitely,” Meyer marveled. Will clothes eventually come in a can? Will recycling textiles take on a whole new meaning? Beyond the wow factor of watching Hadid walk down the runway in her instant dress, the show raised all kinds of fascinating questions about how technology will change the way we clothe ourselves not only in the virtual world, but IRL.

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