A metaverse design story

Spectacular pieces for this dimension and the next.

The Metaverse Design Story collection is the latest addition to H&M's ongoing innovation stories. As the boundaries between online and offline life continue to blur, our design team combines the craftmanship of high fashion with fantasy worlds and virtual reality. The result is a collection starring both physical ready-to-wear and a selection of digital garments, co-designed and crafted by the Institute of Digital Fashion.

The collection is inspired by the metaverse –– a place where fashion can be enjoyed unencumbered by the laws of gravity, or societal expectations. At the same time, the tactile beauty of the natural world serves as a reference point, with pieces inspired by satellite images of planet Earth, microscopic cells and vibrant wildflowers. 

"We wanted to present our customers with an explosive collection that captured the excitement we all feel at the dawning of the metaverse, but also the fascination we have with the natural world. The resulting collection is extraordinarily tactile, with hand-beaded and intricately constructed garments, but also explores the endless possibilities of the digital sphere and of H&M’s circular mindset,” 

says Ella Soccorsi, concept designer at H&M.

Designed with circularity in mind, several pieces feature recycled polyester fibres made of textile waste collected in partnership with our garment collection programme. The collection also utilises innovative materials such as REPREVE® Our Ocean™ recycled polyester made from ocean-bound plastic bottles. After years of development, 100% recycled sequins made from plastic bottle waste are used to embellish multiple styles.

Key pieces for women include a fuchsia puff-ball mini dress and a ruffled purple mini dress that both resemble a flower in bloom. A corset-waisted, neon yellow dress with a dramatic tulle skirt also takes centre stage, alongside a maxi dress with a trompe-l'oeil print and a halterneck party dress, embellished with 100% recycled sequins. Meanwhile, futuristic jewellery takes its cue from liquid metal that looks as though it’s been plumped by pixels, winding round necks and wrists in the form of chokers, bracelet cuffs and ear cuffs. 

The metaverse invites a new way to look at personal style and the potential of ever-evolving, limitless wardrobes. The collection explores this frontier with a selection of 3D filters, crafted by the Institute of Digital Fashion in their digital atelier. For one dress, water droplets shift and wrap around the body and for another, aquatic flowers flare out into glowing, algae-inspired tips. Other filters include a look rendered with clustered onyx stones, as well as a swirling metallic gown and a molten headpiece that sparks with electricity.

"Together with H&M, we created and built the digital garments featured in the metaverse collection. We considered the ephemeral world around us and wanted to look beyond physical materials and their restraints.These digital garments go beyond seasons, beyond gender and beyond realities –– they are for everybody,"

say the co-founders of IoDF, Leanne Elliott Young (CEO) and Cattytay (Creative Director).

Menswear highlights include a forest-green faux fur coat inspired by landscapes from above, an oversized bomber jacket adorned with intricate beading, as well as a pair of extravagant ribbon-ruched trousers and a matching suit in emerald green velvet. For after-dark, one top features a boned corset-waist with lace-up ties at the shoulders, and another style glistens all over with recycled glass beads. Aside from the jewellery, accessories include a pair of amphibian-like sneakers and an embellished cap, to coordinate with the bomber jacket.

 The H&M Innovation Metaverse Design Story will be on sale in selected stores and online at hm.com, and available for rental in selected stores, from 8 December 2022. Local deviations may occur.

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