PARIS — Imagine a jungle print on a silk scarf where — when viewed through a smart phone — the fern leaves suddenly start to quiver and leopards spring to life, prowling across the wearer. Or winged bugs doing loop-the-loops across a magical illustrated nightscape on a wallpaper.
Textile designer and print specialist Iracema Trevisan has made it a reality — or make that augmented reality — with the launch of a 3-D animation app, dubbed HHH AR, designed to be used on a new series of limited-edition silk and wool luxury scarves from her Heart Heart Heart label. The app can also be used to create augmented reality messages for the scarves that are activated once the user enters a code. The Paris-based designer is also in talks to launch a line of augmented reality wallpaper with a firm based in Brazil, from where she hails.
Trevisan hand-paints her designs and then scans or photographs them “to keep the texture of the ink” before having them digitally printed. The scarves are produced in France and Italy, with the new augmented reality line already on sale on the label’s web site and in a “Contemporary Games” pop-up shop at the Amastan hotel here.
“I’ve always been a bit of a geek. I first saw this technology used on something pretty uninteresting like advertising for a cereal brand and saw the potential of it to make people dream,” said Trevisan, who launched her scarf line in 2011 as a parallel project and window for her work while designing textiles for other brands. The designer has had a pretty colorful life, having started out as the right-hand woman to Alexandre Herchcovitch before putting her fashion career on hold to “go on the road” for two years as the bassist in Brazilian indie-rock group Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS), when the band exploded onto the international scene.
“The group started out as a kind of joke in São Paulo; it was like an art collective. None of us were really musicians. We were each from a different field. One of the girls was a photographer. The singer, Luísa [stage name Lovefoxxx], was an artist. It was really punk and spontaneous, and I think it guided my fashion towards something more fun,” said Trevisan, who eventually quit the group to pursue what she felt was her true vocation.
In 2008, she moved to Paris to do a master’s degree in fashion design at the Institut Français de la Mode, going on to do an internship at Lanvin followed by stints at a range of established brands. It was in late 2015, while designing the artwork for the debut solo record of her fiancé, Air’s Nicolas Godin, whom she met on tour, and an accompanying animated music video in collaboration with American artist Miranda July, based on the story of a girl looking into her phone, that she came up with the idea for the app. “For me, the designs always tell a story, I see them in movement. And I always have these stories behind all of the elements on my scarves, what they’re up to. I started thinking about how to integrate motion into the designs,” said Trevisan, who set about finding an engineer for her app.
“I like the idea of mixing what’s real with what’s virtual. The technology existed already with things like Pokémon Go. I didn’t invent it, but I think it’s more about the application, making it work in a context. I see it as bringing a new digital layer to the design. It’s interactive, it brings a design to life,” added Trevisan, who is looking to structure her company as a design studio. “I think it’s a technology that can go in so many directions. My domain is really print-related, but I would love to do collaborations on other products from the design-lifestyle domain. My next step will be bringing it to other areas.”
Trevisan produces two scarf collections per year, each housing 12 to 16 styles limited to 50 editions. The line is sold in around 15 stores, including Barneys in Tokyo and Joseph in London, with prices ranging from around 55 euros to 240 euros, or $58.60 to $255.60 at current exchange. A capsule of illustrated unisex summer shirts to be used with the HHH AR app will hit the brand’s web site in February.