For the last three months, we have been working with three top-rate student interns in our regions in Second Life, teaching them the ins and outs of the emerging field of virtua design and development. Our interns are currently matriculated at higher ed schools around the US, and log in from their geographically dispersed homes for our weekly discussion, lecture and review sessions.
Fashion design is a demanding curriculum. Our discipline demands that the student not only understand such a wide breadth of topics ranging from anatomy to textile and materials science, and then to apply those topics specifically to an array of products. They must then be able to fully construct, with his or her own hands, those self-same products. Fashion design students are asked to create a full collection of products including the concept board, color story, materials collections, and make sure that the collection of products actually fits (correctly) and is not just functional but correctly made and finished.
Our summer interns have been working for the last three months doing just that, using a virtual world as their low-cost, low-risk prototyping tool to develop their avatar apparel collections. Using our avatar apparel framework, we have guided them through the design cycle from concept board, to selecting a color story, to developing a new piece every week. We are culminating their internship with Fashion Research Institute with the fashion industry’s version of the summer intern seminar, namely a runway show where their work will be presented with live models, in a formal setting.
This is a tremendous opportunity for our interns. As they enter their senior year at their schools, they will be required as part of their program to send an outfit out on the runway at their school’s annual runway show. It’s part of the traditional curriculum for design students, because they learn firsthand about runway shows, and of course, their work gets recognized by their peers as they graduate. Our interns will already have gone through the process of developing a runway show as a group project. They have worked together to develop a coherent visual story that works as a group project. They have styled their models from hair to accessories (provided by our talented emerging designers Tiffy Vella, Yoona Mayo, and Rosie Barthelmess) to complement their actual work. They have chosen how they want their work to be presented. And on Tuesday, August 25th, their hard work will be shown in a formal runway show in our Shengri La region in Second Life.
It has been an honor to work with Trinity Hartunian, Missy Lavecchia, and Palette Schuttelanz this summer. We are delighted to present their work in their first runway show (ever!), and we hope you can join us as they show selected garments from their collections at their show, Fluid, at 6 pm PDT, Tuesday, August 25th.