Earlier this month, Bella Hadid walked the runway for Coperni, the Parisian brand that has already made its statement in the world of fashion accessories. But as Hadid appeared from backstage, all she wore was a G-string while covering her breasts with her hand. The magic started with what looked like white paint being sprayed on Hadid’s body. Within 15 minutes, this had become an elaborate dress; what had started off looking like cobwebs evolved into an off-shoulder piece with a thigh slit, and this moment went down in fashion history. While the entire world loved the creativity and grit of the Coperni designers and Hadid, it raised the question of whether spray-on clothing was here to last.
Let’s clear up one thing. Moments with IMG models, especially the Hadid siblings, are nearly always golden. If you can get a Hadid to walk the ramp for you, a piece will eventually, and sometimes immediately, become your statement. Looking at the graceful Bella being dressed real-time was an ecstatic moment for lovers of everything fashion. The spray can had small fibers that were bound together by polymers, all mixed with liquid solvents. As the spray hit Hadid’s skin, the solvents evaporated, leaving the fiber to hug her body. This is not the first time a model has been spray painted, either. The nostalgic, unforgettable 1999 moment orchestrated by iconic Alexander McQueen had also involved a model being spray painted by two robots. But this was paint, not fabric.
Such reveals have been sparse but present, and the audiences love them. Spray-on clothing can even be hung for future use. And the texture of the fabric can be manipulated by changes in concentration and consistency. This undoubtedly makes it one of the greatest ideas we have ever encountered. But why, then, have we not seen sprayed-on dresses more frequently? The answer is simple – spray on dresses are water soluble. This doesn’t make them the best for everyday wear. Perhaps this is also why the iconic Coperni dress is not on sale.
But that barely matters. We can look at soray-on clothing as a revolutionary development, but not as a staple. The fashion favourite label might never have meant to commercialize its quick clothing creation. This was about authoring a moment that the world will remember for centuries.
Now we look back at our initial question. Is spray-on clothing here to last? We wouldn’t be too hopeful. Something so momentous is a rare occurance, and designers tend to like keeping these prized creations as collectibles. It is unlikely that this will bloom into a trend, but we can still expect to see soluble fiber clothing at events, galas and of course, ramps.
Learn about Bella Hadid’s iconic Vogue Italia photoshoot.