Digital Fashion - The Future of Ravensbourne

A collaboration between two courses

For the first time ever Ravensbourne University Fashion and Gaming students collaborate to chart a course for the future of fashion in the wake of Covid-19.Using Marvelous Designer, ten final-year Fashion Design students from the class of 2020 realised their final collections as digital avatars, fully clothed and textured in each of their personal designs in less than six weeks. In conjunction with the gaming students, these avatars were animated and uploaded into a digitally-rendered gaming environment in which users can photograph each look from any angle, while exploring different lighting and atmospheric options.

In lieu of a traditional catwalk, this project gave students the opportunity to reinvent what fashion can be in an industry dealing with important issues such as sustainability, inclusivity and over-consumption; and consider how digital fashion can play a role within all of these.

This is the first fashion course in the world to embark on such a project and this exciting new game will debut online in early July, and be available to the public.

Under the new leadership of Lee Lapthorne, Programme Director Fashion (2019), the project was spearheaded by Adam Andrascik, Senior Lecturer and former Creative Director of Guy Laroche Paris, who started at Ravensbourne in the new year and has dedicated his time to upskilling students with both specialist and practical skills in new digital technologies during these unprecedented times.

Lee Lapthorne, Programme Director Fashion, says: “Our students take on a strong digital sensibility at Ravensbourne from the get-go and our Tech team are forward-thinking and able to adapt and constantly come up with new innovative ways of working. The result has been a truly collaborative project between students from separate courses, a first. Covid has enabled us to come together against the odds and continue to showcase our students’ work in the very best light under their own unique creative control.”

Now going into its third year, the Games Development course at Ravensbourne is a new programme concentrating on games making and experimentation. For this project second year students were tasked with taking the garments designed by the graduating Fashion Design students and creating an interactive showcase.

Despite the challenges of lockdown, they designed a virtualised studio space where the fashion students could not only view their creations but create images for social media and traditional press. Scattered across London the students produced a proof of concept as part of their second year Studio unit and then an extra-curricular team designed the final project assisted by staff from the Ravensbourne Prototyping Lab and Rave Games.

“With games technologies proliferating into ever wider creative endeavours, it’s important that our Games Development students realise the breadth of opportunities that exist for them in a myriad of industries” Nick Rodriguez, Course Leader, Games Development.

Ravensbourne is an industry-focused university located at the heart of London’s newest creative community on the Greenwich Peninsula. It is a world-class digital destination developing talented individuals and leading-edge businesses though learning, skills, applied research, enterprise and innovation. The aim is to become a portal for talent across London driving growth in knowledge, economy and creative industries. Diversity has been at the heart of Ravensbourne since the start. The university is grassroots with around 90% of students being domestically based and a BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) rate of 38% versus the national average of just 15%.

The Fashion Department has four courses: Fashion; Fashion Accessory and Textile Futures; Fashion Promotion; and Fashion Buying and Brand Management. And prestigious alumni include: Clare Waight-Keller, Paria Farzaneh, Fatima Minana, Edun Loweth of Art School, Christiana Alagna and David Bowie.