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It’s the busiest moment of Paris Fashion Week so far. On Friday night, Bella Hadid closed French brand Coperni’s Spring-Summer 2023 show in a sprayed dress in front of a live audience.
The supermodel walked the catwalk wearing nothing but nude underwear before Manel Torres, the creator of the patented spray technology, Fabrican, and two scientists applied a misty liquid to her that transformed, almost instantly, into a wearable material.
For almost 10 minutes, the guests watched in awe as Torres and his team carried out the Coperni design in real time. To finish the dress, the brand’s chief designer, Charlotte Raymond, took the stage and gently manipulated the neckline while she was still drying off and cut a dramatic slit in the leg.
The dress had no seams or hem. And from a distance, the fabric looked like a soft jersey that seemed to move with the ease of a T-shirt. But when Hadid completed a lap around the track, a soft texture reminiscent of water droplets could be seen.
Bella Hadid at the Coperni Spring-Summer 2023 fashion show. Credit: Julien deRosa/AFP/Getty Images
“You can put this dress on, store it as a dress and hang it on a hanger. But if you don’t want it anymore, you can put the dress back in the liquid and you can immediately spray it again,” said Coperni’s creative director. and co-founder Sébastien Meyer told CNN at the brand’s Paris workshop before the show.
The innovative material has been in development since the early 2000s. The short fibers are bonded with natural and synthetic polymers and then mixed with liquid solvents that evaporate immediately once the spray hits skin or other surfaces, according to a press release from the British company behind the technology. Fabric texture can also be manipulated based on the type of fibers and binder used.
The dress was created in just 10 minutes using Fabrican’s spray technology. Credit: Julien deRosa/AFP/Getty Images
While the dress will not be for sale, Meyer said it was important to push the boundaries of technology and design and create a moment that could go down in fashion history. The audience seemed to be in awe, including Kylie Jenner, Jeanne Damas and Alexa Chung, who all clapped loudly, while footage of the finale soon went viral.
“We’re not going to make money off of this, but it’s more of a celebration of innovation and having strong moments in fashion because we’re passionate about pushing fashion forward,” Coperni CEO and co-founder Arnaud Vaillant said before the show.
Coperni, founded in 2013, often crosses fashion with art, science, technology and crafts. Earlier this year, the brand made headlines with a blown glass tote bag that Doja Cat wore to the Grammys. The bag is named Swipe after the “swipe to unlock” feature on iPhones. On this season’s runway, the Parisian brand also unveiled an 18-carat gold version of the bag that will be melted down after the show to be used for other projects. Those who want to buy one of the bags of gold, created by the craftsman Gabriele Veneri, can have it made to order.
The dress can become liquid again and be re-sprayed again and again. Credit: Julien deRosa/AFP/Getty Images
Elsewhere in Coperni’s new Spring-Summer collection, holographic floral prints appeared on vinyl pieces affixed to fitted jackets. With bra cups reinterpreted as shoulder pads, the high-tech garments were paired with high-waisted shorts and fitted dresses, like the ones Kylie Jenner wore to the show.
“We made this impression by making a video of a flower blooming,” Meyer explained. “Then we took some screenshots of the video, which was run through a (piece of) software to create the impression. It’s very technical and Coperni doesn’t usually do flowers because it’s too girly for us, but I like the contrast of the futuristic fabric with the romance of flowers. It is a modern romanticism”.
The collection also featured a nod to actress Fiona Johnson’s red dress in “The Matrix,” as well as a series of square-shouldered jackets that reference the silhouettes of characters from the online game Roblox.
“Sébastien (Meyer’s) main inspiration is innovation, be it in technology or in the digital sphere,” Vaillant said of his Coperni co-founder. “So he always has this reference.”