CANADA IN REALITY: For the 40th anniversary of Fashion magazine, editor in chief Noreen Flanagan commissioned artist Benjamin Shine to create a tulle portrait of cover model Amber Witcomb.

After seeing a collaboration that the artist had done with John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Flanagan sought Shine. To win him over she sent a note to his agent and then “many beseeching ones” to the artist before Shine agreed. Fortunately for Flanagan, Shine was in New York working on his installation in Bergdorf Goodman’s store windows when her anniversary shoot was being done in the city.

Instead of working from images, as he normally does, Shine was able to be on set while photographer Owen Bruce was at work. At a VIP party at Galerie de Bellefeuille Toronto, his 3-D tulle portrait was auctioned to benefit fashion design student at Ryerson University. For the 40th anniversary issue, Flanagan also saw to it that a short film was created to show Witcomb reciting poetry from Lord Byron.

Guests at the anniversary party found an AR experience thanks to the Toronto-based Gimme360 company. The cover image is followed by a four-page gatefold that depicts Whitcomb dancing. “By holding up iPads or an iPhone 8, the tulle appears to expand and morph into different colors, Witcomb’s hair moves and she winks. There were also copies of the magazines which include four pages that are designated for AR experiences. Flanagan said: “It was there to remind people that yes, we’re there to celebrate the past and the present but we’re looking ahead. In the past, I had done a virtual reality cover bit never one with augmented reality.”

Fashion executives in different mediums are taking to AR — W worked with Katy Perry for an AR-powered issue earlier this year. Gap is working on AR-enabled dressing rooms and Nike sells limited-edition sneakers through its SNKRS app for iOS.

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