Attendees at the X AI fashion show in Hong Kong noted an “eerie” quality in the new garments designed on the event’s runway. In fact, the designs were not entirely man-made.
More than 80 costumes by 14 designers were on display at the event, created with the help of artificial intelligence software AiDA, short for “Artificial Intelligence-Based Interactive Design Assistant”. The program was developed by PhD students and academics at AiDLab, based in Hong Kong.
Dressed in an array of outfits ranging from bomber jackets to sheer skirts, models stood in front of rows of critics and stylists as they covered their faces with an eerie blue mask.
“I felt like I was seeing the future of fashion at this show,” said Cynthia Tse, who attended the show. “I think face coverings are definitely weird and sexy.”
According to Calvin Wong, CEO of IDLAB, the software was created to serve as a “supportive tool” for designers.
“Aida is an assistant to fashion designers whose only job is to help them work. Designers and artificial intelligence can work together to come up with the final collection,” Wong said.
Wong said the AIDA system is supported by artificial intelligence technologies such as image recognition, detection, and generation. Designers can upload preliminary sketches, materials, and color palettes to a virtual canvas, and the software algorithm creates layouts that designers can tweak and add their own flair to.
Wong said the system can produce dozens of fashion templates within 10 seconds, saving valuable time for designers.
Hong Kong-based fashion designer Mountain Yam has used Aida for the past six months and says it has not only saved him time but also inspired him.
“I started to get to know Aida gradually, and he gradually got to know my own designs,” he said. “Based on this knowledge, the system will suggest something to me that I may not have considered before, but Aida thinks is suitable for me. So I think we are developing a long-term relationship.”
Fashion designer Iulia Teleli said she hoped AI designs would be at the forefront of the collection, noting that they weren’t as basic as the future fashion collections she helped design when she began her career.
“I believe that artificial intelligence is full of potential, and this is really a great opportunity for students and professors to collaborate in this interesting field,” she added.
Aida was officially launched with the XAI fashion show, which is open to designers in Europe and Asia Pacific.