INVITED EDITOR Ilaria Niccolini
I personally believe that our role, as key players of the fashion and entertainment industries, is not only to promote beauty and excellence.
The room is all red, filled with a diffuse energy that washes over us in waves. The din of overlapping voices creates a buzz that sustains the excitement all around us. The backstage space is filled with colored chairs and bathed in LED lights. As they prepare, the models, ethereal and versatile, interact with their own image reflected in mirror displays that propose different look options in real time.
Makeup is available in small transparent jars, positioned under a fountain of vinyl. A control panel waits for the Pantone code, ready to dispense the colored liquids, of varying consistency according to their destination: skin, eyes, lips. Other jars are preciously filled with luminous powders, in all possible colors and shades. Through a glass door we reach the presentation space, that appears completely white, delicate, harmonious, without material boundaries. Transparency leads to the stage threshold. Hanging from the ceiling, all around, are the virtual reality goggles we will use to enter the show. The music starts and covers the buzz, that quiets down respectfully. There is a symphony of instruments and sounds, whose waves touch all our senses. Male and female models appear through the white stairway, they cross the round, brightly lit space, they walk close to us, with soft and sensual cadences. We are surrounded by a multitude of features, colors, attitudes and appearances. The air around us is filled with vibrant and energizing scents. Rays of light swirl around, reflecting in all directions off of a highly accessorized wheelchair, on which one of the models whirls through the room. Interaction with the garments is immediate, through our virtual reality gear. We can almost fill their texture as the talents move among us, their softness and consistency. With quick swipes on our handheld controllers we can test different color shades, change backgrounds, view the looks from different orientations. When the talents return backstage, a voice in our earbugs invites us to take our goggles off, and our eyes are surprised by the presence of designers, artists, models, chatting with each other while they wait for us to interact with them. The glass panels offer their vivid and reassuring images, ready to respond to our movements, answer our questions, offer information and details about the collections we just admired. We explore styles, lines, designs, through perfect three-dimensional images that float and dance in front of our eyes. Buyers and retailers access commercial details, view world maps of provenance and logistics, place orders in real time. The energy that emanates from the emerging talents around us pays homage to the fashion industry, an industry that finally recovers its educational role, goes back to being a role model with a powerful step forward, offering leadership and example on how to create arts, beauty, integrity. Cultural excellence is humanity’s heritage, wherever it comes from: history, literature, music, performing arts, visual arts, in all its forms and manifestations. And the fashion industry has a duty to be an ambassador for excellence, and to make it available to all, and not just a closed circle of elites. This is what guarantees the feature of beauty in this world, at least the world that is moved by values, passions, faith and love.