Guests were given hints that they should expect something big from the Coperni SS23 show during Paris Fashion Week – but we very much doubt anyone could have foreseen the grand finale that has had the internet buzzing with wide-eyed fascination and disbelief ever since.
Last night, Coperni's show closed with Bella Hadid emerging in nothing but nude underwear, before a group of scientists sprayed her with a cutting-edge new liquid that bit by bit, transformed into an actual dress. Hadid then took a final turn on the runway to show guests the spray-on dress in action. You really have to see it to believe it.
Founded by Arnaud Vaillant and Sébastien Meyer in 2019, Coperni has become synonymous with pushing the boundaries of fashion through scientific innovation. ‘The brand is named after Copernicus, the Renaissance-era astronomer, so it’s inspired by science, progress, innovation and technology,’ Vaillant told ELLE UK in an interview earlier this year, when they had already experimented with hand-blown glass handbags, antibacterial clothes and XR-shot campaigns.
But for SS23, the duo truly outdid themselves by joining forces with Spanish fashion designer and scientist Manel Torres and his team at London's Bioscience Innovation Centre to develop the spray-on dress. The spray is made up of Torres' Fabrican liquid that contains fibres suspended in a polymer solution, that evaporates as soon as it makes contact with the body. It can also be removed and turned back into a solution afterwards, and then be used again.
The moment was reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's iconic Spring 1999 show, when model Shalom Harlow's white gown was spray-painted live on the catwalk by car-paint machinery.
'It's our duty as designers to try new things and show a possible future,' Meyer told Vogue Business of Coperni's own spray-painting moment. 'We're not going to make money on this, but it's a beautiful moment – an experience that creates emotion.'
We can't wait to see what brilliance they dream up – and so cleverly execute – next.
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