The fashion world is a highly competitive arena where brands compete for attention with everything from viral moments to Instagram-worthy front-row lineups. Coperni designers Sebastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant aimed high with their Paris Fashion Week 2024 outing. They featured a lineup of models, including Naomi Campbell, and musicians and actors like Maisie Williams and Cole Sprouse. Set in a vast underground sound research center in the heart of Paris, the show’s futuristic lineup was adorned with the brand’s AI pins – small tech devices, like the Humane Ai Pin, fastened to lapels meant to track and record data.
The collection sought inspiration from the internet to explore the relationship between fashion and technology as envisioned in Jean de La Fontaine’s fable The Wolf and the Lamb. It was a stance that resonated amongst the buzzy crowd at the show, which was hosted by Station F, a startup campus in the capital.
As a backdrop to the collection, a shifting wall of loudspeakers signaled the show’s start. Then models, including Naomi Campbell, emerged on the runway, moving swiftly in loose suits, sheer fitted dresses, bra tops, and jeans. The clothing lent itself to the techno-future setting, with the designers paring back styles with open-backed dresses and shortening trouser hems for a leggy silhouette. The soundtrack sounded of moving fabric, tinkling instruments, and, at one point, the sound of a triangle instrument – reflecting the design’s next-gen bent.
In an apparent nod to the ubiquity of wearable tech, the designs also included coats with peepholes opening at the neck and silk dress shirts fastened with oversized silver brooches shaped like emojis. The designers continued exploring the human-machine relationship with a series of jackets printed with an image generated by AI software DALL-E and a holographic pattern that appeared to change color depending on its position.
Coperni partnered with engineering and robotics company Boston Dynamics to bring their concept of the human-robot relationship to life on the runway. The yellow “Spot” robots, flanked by their handlers, acted as professional bag holders for the model lineup but also put on a show by kissing and tugging at outfits.
While some may have viewed the interaction as more gimmick than substance, it added drama to an already awe-inducing show. Other technologically advanced offerings included a series of garden gnome-like hairstyles from designer Rick Owens and the creation by Anrealage of heat-sensitive clothing that changes color in light.
Unlike the sprayed-on dress, however, these garments were still functional. The spray-on fabric, called “Sweet Dreams,” was created by Manel Torres and his company, Fabrican Ltd, to renovate silly string and spider webs into a softer and more pliable material, ready to be cut and manipulated into the shapes of the clothes.