by MIKE CHAIKEN
CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR
Claude Kameni took the concept of virtual fashion shows a step further than the rest of the designers showing at Paraiso Miami Beach.
Her models were all virtual, as was her show spotlighting her 2021 collection of swimwear.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and because of the severity of the outbreak in Miami, Paraaiso rescheduled its swimsuit fashion shows away from its traditional July perch. Instead, the shows were set to be held Aug. 20-23, with the intention of inviting guests to enjoy the style.
As the severity of the virus intensified, Paraiso pivoted and opted for a virtual fashion week, with only a handful of people on and around the runways.
Kameni, a Cameroon native, presented her brand’s, Lavie by CK, latest collection in collaboration with The Digiitals.
Instead of flesh and blood models in a brick and mortar world, the runway location, the models and designs were all computer generated.
However, for those who expected a Disney-ified rendering of a fashion show, they would have found the details of the computerized fashion show could barely be differentiated from the real thing.
The models looked and moved as if they were the real thing. The swimsuits on the “models” had realistic textures. Cinematically, the lighting resembled anything on the runway at Paraiso shows of the past. The animation also replicated the usual pans and zooms of the video cameras.
If you compared La Vie’s show with the other shows livestreamed by Paraiso, you might have decided that the computerized depiction had more polish.
The computerized runway for Lavie even spotlighted one of the world’s first digital supermodels, Shudu.
Press materials from Paraiso explained Shudu is the “enigmatic and undeniably beautiful muse who's inspiring a new generation of artists.”
Shudu, who now has thousands of Instagram followers, was created by a fashion photographer Cameron James Wilson. He modeled her after a South African Barbie doll.
The Diigitals, explained the press materials, are taking “the first steps into a new frontier of digital exploration. Within this collaborative hub, we demonstrate the potential of 3D fashion modelling… (and) erase the boundaries between reality and the digital.”
Kameni’s The Voyage Collection shined in this unconventional fashion presentation born by the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus.
Press materials explain the collection is inspired by Kameni’s Cameroon roots. Her father had a travel company and Kameni “admired how he could provide customers means to see the world and “fulfill their dreams.”
The latest collection reflects “the current global desire to travel again,” explain the press statements.
Kameni “puts a modern spin on traditional African fabrics with unique prints and colors for a bold finish,” said the press package.
Kameni’s garments have been worn by Amanda Seales, host of the BET Awards, who wore a Lavie by CK gown. Tracee Ellis Ross and Janet Jackson also have worn her work WWD also has selected Kameni as one of the most influential black designers to watch this year.
For details, visit LaviebyCK.com.