Designer dresses can cost north of several thousands of dollars, which in and of itself seems insane. But perhaps there's a specific, potent kind of adrenaline some feel when parading down the street wearing their ultra-expensive apparel.
A Digital Dress You Can't Wear
Which is exactly what makes this new dress so bizarre. The article of clothing in question has sold for $9,500 but it's completely digital, meaning there's no possible way to actually wear it in the real world. Iridescence, as it's called, was sold by Dutch startup The Fabricant, Dapper Labs, and artist Johanna Jaskowska on the blockchain.
Unlike buying new clothes for one's Sims character, this digital dress will be "tailored" for the buyer based on a photo. The designers will draw from 2D patterns used for conventional clothing, so with enough effort, someone can tailor a real-life equivalent of the digital dress.
If it sounds ridiculous, perhaps because it is. To be fair, the digital dress does look pretty realistic, but as Engadget notes, the disillusionment sets in quickly once one realizes that there's actually no physical dress at all. Worse yet, it costs as much as, if not more than, real expensive clothing, which begs the question if it's really worth spending that much on an object one can't even touch.
The Digital Dress Is Perfect For Influencers
There is, however, some reasoning behind the concept. For starters, it's environmentally friendly. Second, it might be a great way for influencers and Instagram celebrities to spice up their look without actually having to shop for real clothes. Better yet, since the dress is digital, the possibilities in terms of art, design, and aesthetic are endless. Imagine being able to wear a Lady Gaga-esque avant garde costume without having to deal with the actual thing. It's not certain how much that's going to cost, though.
Instagram has become, in years past, a hotbed for virtual models and popular personalities, and some of them even have legions of followers, not to mention major brand sponsorship deals. In this context, a virtual dress doesn't seem so ridiculous. On the contrary, it makes perfect sense. Since these people are celebrated almost always digitally, why shouldn't they put on virtual clothes to enhance their image?
"Global brands in the real world apparel market are vying to enter the digital-only fashion space to forge deeper engagement with 'Gen Z' consumers — those born after 1997 who have only known a digitally connected world," according to The Fabricant.