Design

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River Island experience a Happy Finish at Fashion Week

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As part of their ongoing collaborative partnership with high street fashion brand River Island, White Lodge, the production company dedicated to creating premium content for fashion brands, has teamed up with VFX specialists Happy Finish to create a fashion first for London Fashion Week. The project is being touted as an interactive fashion film, which features a combination of video and a unique 360° CGI Virtual Reality experience using the affordable Google Cardboard VR unit. It marks the launch of the Jean-Pierre Braganza Design Forum collection, coming exclusively to River Island this week. River Island is the first fashion brand to use the Google Cardboard technology to make interactive film content.

White Lodge has teamed up with VFX specialists Happy Finish to create a fashion first for River Island's London Fashion Week showing

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White Lodge and Happy Finish worked alongside the BlinkInk directing collective Dvein for the project, with the production collectives developing a digital workflow together, in order to adapt Dvein's film into a 3D experience using the Unity video game engine. The original goal for the project was to deliver a fashion film utilising a real time rendered graphical environment that pushed the limits of Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android mobile operating systems. It's been packaged as a free to download app for both iOS and Android, and is one of the latest apps to tap into the growing popularity of Google Cardboard; the VR system that makes the technology accessible and affordable to a vast consumer audience.

River Island Design Forum X Jean-Pierre Braganza

The app and video have both been directly inspired by the bold visual designs and colour palette of Braganza's collection, with Dvein's film and Happy Finish's app both setting their experiences in an extraordinary futuristic world where organic and mechanical elements combine to awaken a powerful female force. There's also an augmented reality feature built into the bespoke app, which takes the avatar into the “Real world” with the users' smartphone or tablet camera. Interactions with the avatar can then be shared via social media. Of course, if users don't have access to a VR headset, the CGI experience can also be experienced in 2D, but you'd really be missing a trick. To counteract this, and make sure that the collection's fans get the full experience, all customers who purchase the Jean Pierre Braganza Collection online or in store will receive a customised Google Cardboard headset to lead them headfirst into the immersive 3D experience. Quite a freebie right!

The app and video have both been directly inspired by the bold visual designs and colour palette of Jean-Pierre Braganza's collection

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To mark the project's unveiling and the collection's release, River Island and the British Fashion Council launched the collection and digital campaign at an exclusive breakfast event at the BFC Courtyard Show Space at Somerset House this Monday (24 February) with Google Cardboard experts on hand to guide guests through the download and play experience. An ambitious installation was also mounted at the event, which screened the film across multiple screen projections, and paired what was happening onscreen with responsive ambient lighting from Events Production experts Aurora Multimedia.

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK. He bought a Google Cardboard set just last week and has really been enjoying the VR Rollercoaster!

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