What is artificial intelligence going to do to fashion design? Johnny Johansson tackled this burning question head on, roping in AI artist Robbie Barrat for the exploration—pushing ideas into the physical world, for real-life inspection.
For the women’s collection, they fed the machine artwork from the Old Masters, with Barrat’s guiding hand intervening as the algorithms whirred.
The resulting lineup felt very Acne Studios, futuristically modern, but with an old-world veneer. The machine had suggested focusing on fabrics and colors, and Johansson whipped up a stream of warped and distorted silhouettes, wrapping the body tightly with distressed velvet, or covering it loosely with oddly-sized suits, oversize devoré shirts, bulky coats — one in leather was painted with a blurry, historic painting. Edges were frayed, leg-hugging trousers were splayed at the foot and asymmetry ruled — with patches of fabric covering parts of the body, but also flashing skin — a bit like how the Flintstones had dressed, but chic. Bunched, earthy looks in velvet contrasted with a sleek, square-cut bustier dress that stood off the chest; some of it weird, some of it elegant — most of it rather different.
“It feels like we’re in a stage where there’s something new coming soon or something around the corner about how fashion is going to change,” said Johansson, who is optimistic about the influence AI might wield when we turn that corner. Something entirely new! Or maybe not.