In “Auroboros” science and technology merge in one image of physical haute couture in the form of digital-only RTW collections. Innovation, sustainability, immersive design, a deeper dimension of what we know and perceive as the luxury industry. It poses the question: What does the future of our consumption in the fashion sector look like?
“Digital fashion by Auroboros represent those human forms that may have previously had limited visibility in the rest of the fashion industry.” – Auroboros
The collection “Biomimicry” had been shown today, the 12th of June at 11:30 (BST) as part of London Fashion Week, supported by the British Fashion Council and in official partnership with the Institute of Digital Fashion. Styling by Icon Sita Abellan.
The name Auroboros describes a snake that eats its tail, how can this be applied to your brand or how did the name come about?Our brand name ‘Auroboros’ comes from the ancient alchemical symbol of ‘Ouroboros’ which we spelt with an ‘au’. The ‘Ouroboros’ symbol depicts a snake devouring its tail, representing a state of constant renewal and transformation, a concept that aligns with our brand ethos of reinvention. This symbol, coincidentally, is rooted in both of our respective family histories through ancestral Shemanic roots, so it feels very personal and specific to our identities. ‘Ouroboros’ then became ‘Auroboros’, when we decided to replace the first letter with an ‘Au’ to incorporate the element symbol of gold, ‘Au’. The motivation behind this addition was that the alchemists’ end goal was to turn any material into gold, reflecting the metaphorical driving force behind Auroboros.
I often look at what people are wearing in the streets, or as well online. How did you come to focus on a digital-only RTW collection? The idea of a digital-only ready to wear collection came about when we were looking at the concept of Biomimicry for the Auroboros physical couture. The material couture is the world’s first real-time growing couture, utilising a crystallisation process to bloom and flourish whilst being worn. We wanted to translate this concept into a collection that could be accessible on a larger scale whilst also involving people who tend to experience exclusion and a lack of representation from the fashion landscape. We began to pay attention to the exciting potential of using technology to reach a broader audience, not only through being able to facilitate different bodies and genders but also being available to remote locations around the world. There was also the added advantage of digital enabling non-material, zero waste garments available at no harm to our planet. Therefore, a digital-only ready-to-wear collection seemed like the ideal next phase for Auroboros, as digital fashion is more accessible, more inclusive, more immersive and more sustainable.
How do you two complement each other in these values and visions? We complement each other because we share a vision for a more hopeful, utopian future; creating a fashion house that reflects our understanding of the 21st century and beyond by rejecting the cyclical repetitions of past trends. Coming from international backgrounds and being self-taught in our practices, we are very experimental in our respective knowledge bases. We were both attracted to working on something that shapes the future, particularly within the fashion landscape that we felt was lacking; leading us to exploring science and technology to enable this shift. We intend to have a role in shaping that future by producing immersive experiences and creations that align with the values of our imagined utopian world. The two of us place a high value on innovation, inclusivity and sustainability, so we have a common objective in ensuring we incorporate these ideals into Auroboros from the team to the end products and experiences.
What does the term “nature-tech” mean for you? The term “nature-tech” was suggested to us by Trino Verkade, the head of The Sarabande Foundation: Founded by Lee Alexander McQueen, in which Auroboros is housed. For us, “nature-tech” takes on multiple meanings. On the one hand, it’s about employing technology as a tool to reconnect with nature, encapsulating our brand philosophy to utilise technological advancements to reduce environmental impact. It also relates to our creative process of using technology to replicate elements from the natural world in this collection’s designs, such as the Biomimicry growing couture or digitally reproduced plant structures.
What was perhaps an inspiring part of running and presenting a digital-only ready to wear brand during the coronavirus? We officially founded Auroboros before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic. However, our Biomimicry RTW digital-only collection launch was in January 2021, so the launch itself and the process leading up to it took place during the global lockdowns. We feel that the pandemic may have contributed to people having a better understanding of technology and an open mind about digitalisation. With most confined to their homes to reduce the spread of infection, people turned to technology for socialisation, work, creation and entertainment. The circumstances accelerated the uptake and advancements of technology; we became more reliant on it than ever before. Because of this forced shift in society, consumers are now more ready to embrace digital fashion, as they have seen how digital technology has a place in our future.
To what extent do you see a new dimension of the future of fashion in digital fashion? Digital fashion is more democratised than traditional, physical fashion. It opens up a conversation about accessibility, identity and expression. We are finally moving into a new age, an era where we can create a more exciting narrative than before due to the endless possibilities of digital fashion. It’s long overdue that we discover new ways to engage with the fashion world without the limitations of material garments. Digital clothing only becomes more likely to take up a dimension of the future as the technology upgrades. Advancements such as the AR Glasses that recently came out from Snapchat Inc means that digital fashion can transcend beyond the screen and into our physical surroundings. Seeing digital clothing on the body is going to be the most exciting future step that’s happening in this field
What is the core of your current collection? The Auroboros “Biomimicry” digital-only ready to wear collection encapsulates our ‘nature tech’ ethos. Digitally delivered and zero waste, the digital pieces are made to measure and applied over photographs sent by clients, enabling complete body inclusivity. The garments feature aesthetics and design elements inspired by organic structures and sci-fi fiction references. From Alex Garland’s film “Ex Machina” to Venus Flytrap folia, fantasy and nature influences are evident throughout the colours, shapes and digital materials of the collection. With innovation, accessibility and sustainability at the core, the Auroboros Biomimicry digital-only ready-to-wear collection allows consumers to wear the future now.
If digital fashion is the next step, what would you see as the step after this? Ultimately, we are physical creatures; we live in a material world where we value the tactile elements of our reality. So, naturally, the next step is for digital fashion to blend seamlessly into the physical world by elevating the sensory experience of digital. Whether achieved through haptic suits or the technologies of tomorrow, we’ll be seeing more fluidity between the physical and digital realms.
Interview by Carolin Desiree Becker
All pictures courtesy of AUROBOROS