An independent fashion brand has promoted its new 2011 autumn/winter collection using an augmented reality fashion show, said to be the first label in the world to do so.

Theatre Products originally planned to hold a presentation event in March but, like many others, it was cancelled due to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Instead the brand teamed up with alternative digital design unit AR Sankyodai to produce a show that introduces the season in a way that anyone can enjoy at home.

The “Housing” collection was available for viewing from April 15th to 24th, with consumers able to pick up the 2D poster sheet at Theatre Products stores from April 5th. (The sheet could also be downloaded and printed out, though the pre-prepared version was said to work better.)

By going to the season website and using your webcam with the sheet, which resembles the layout plan of a home, you could then display an AR miniature fashion show on your screen. A female model appears in the mini “house” on the sheet, modeling the collection’s clothes in various domestic scenes, such as waking up and cleaning her teeth, gardening and cleaning. The experience lasts several minutes and also features specially selected music to accompany the visuals.

Theatre Products are known for their unusual side-projects, including music performances and non-fashion world collaborations. AR Sankyodai (AR Three Brothers) are a small unit of three male digital designers, specializing in fun interaction between 2D and AR content. Other projects that have attracted attention involved using AR business cards especially created for companies.

Several major fashion houses around the world have also been employing web tools and media recently to cater their seasonal fashion shows for the digital native generation, including Facebook and live-streaming, democratically opening up the formerly press-controlled elite fashion industry.

AR-FASHION SHOW_COMPLETE from ar3bros on Vimeo.

This kind of new approach to fashion shows is likely to be more low-cost than the rather extravagant standard events. It does not benefit from the eyes of the world media but instead it goes right into the homes of the consumer, involving them in a fun way (much like Tokyo Girls Collection has turned a fashion show into something more interactive and fun for young females). In future whole fashion catalogs could be viewable in AR, with integration of e-commerce so consumers could then buy what they see.