For spring/summer 2023, Parisian label Coperni placed innovation at the heart of its Paris Fashion Week show by spray-painting a slip dress onto Bella Hadid live on the catwalk.
For the finale, the supermodel walked onto a platform, wearing nothing but nude underwear and one arm placed demurely across her breasts, before she was spray painted with a white liquid, which instantly transformed into a non-woven wearable material on impact with her body.
Within minutes, a viral moment and a dress were made. No seamstresses were needed, as there were no seams or hems, just two men and a spray gun, and a little manipulation by Charlotte Raymond, the label's head of design. Raymond finished the look by stretching the jersey-like material at the neckline and adding a dramatic leg slit, before Hadid strutted the dress down the catwalk.
The thought process behind the finale was to showcase a “futuristic fusion of science and fashion,” explains Coperni in the show notes, by creating “an experience that sublimates the female body in the purest and most innovative way, tempting to immortalise it”.
The internet seemed split on whether the stunt was an innovation or a gimmick. For some, it was impressive to see the technology being showcased in real-time, in front of a live audience. However, for others, it looked a little too similar to the finale of Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 1999 show, where Shalom Harlow was sprayed with paint by two robot arms.
Coperni collaborates with Fabrican to spray a dress on Bella Hadid in front of a live audience
When it comes to the technology, the spray-on technique was developed by Fabrican, a company founded by Spanish fashion designer and scientist Manel Torres, based at the London Bioscience Innovation Centre.
The Fabrican liquid is durable and versatile and can be changed according to the fibres, including synthetic and natural, such as cotton, linen, polyester or nylon, as well as recycled. The technology offers fashion brands innovation and circularity, as every aspect of the solution supports a repair, reuse, and recycle circular economy.
Fabrican states that manufacturers can readily reuse all components, liquid and solid, reducing consumption of raw materials, energy demand, and waste. The chemistry that creates the spray-on fabric comes from a liquid suspension, meaning that at the end of their useful life, sprayed fabrics can be re-dissolved and sprayed anew.
“The spray-on fabric is the most innovative and avant garde system of the XXI century, proving yet again the world is always evolving and remaining to be drawn,” added Coperni.