It's not secret that the CGI-enhanced, digital model trend is sparking debate in the fashion world. The question has been: Are the 3D model creators taking an idealistic approach to what society sees as beautiful?
But latest brand to make use of digital models to promote their clothing is Balenciaga - and it's turning that debate on its head. Balenciaga recently made use of digital artist, Yilmaz Sen, to create a series of distorted, CGI short videos for their SS 2019 collection. According to Vogue, "In the Instagram clip, models stand in a nondescript part of Copenhagen’s meatpacking district and stare directly at the camera. With their dead eyes holding the viewer's attention, the Balenciaga-clad bodies start to move in a way that is impossible with the human anatomy. The word "eerie" doesn't even cut it."
They're not the first to make use of 3D models, with brands such as Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Balmain all having experimented with this new-age aspect of brand communication in Fashion. In fact, Balmain enlisted three CGI Models for their pre-fall 2018 campaign called ‘Virtual Army’ wearing digitally-constructed versions of their bold, elaborately embellished collection.
Balenciaga’s recent video campaign personifies emotion, and can even be seen as digital art. Sen drove the brand towards surreal and dark indulgence using a combination of photogrammetry scans and live-action footage in order to create the six short videos. See them below:
Conceptualised by creative director Gvasalia, the campaign was created over a month in collaboration with Lotta Volkova. Sen recently told Vogue:
“I wanted to create something unpleasant for the viewer, I had maybe a little sinful approach to that. My intention was to explore the anatomical limits of the human body. For this I combined full-body photogrammetry scans and live action footage, then deformed each look in various ways.”
Words by Matthew Schell