August 21, 2018
World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate, Vulcan Productions and Alcantara sign on to support young creatives by producing the winning concept of Uniting4Climate Virtual Reality Pitch Competition to shine a light on the impact of fashion on climate and human rights.
Connect4Climate, the World Bank Group’s global climate communications and partnership program, is proud to present X-Ray Fashion which will screen in competition at the 2018 Venice Film Festival in the Virtual Reality section. X-Ray Fashion exposes the dark story of the world’s second largest polluter: the fashion industry. It is co-produced by Paul G. Allen’s Vulcan Productions with the support of Alcantara, a certified “Carbon Neutral” company.
Directed by Italian-born director and fashion photographer Francesco Carrozzini (Franca: Chaos and Creation), X-Ray Fashion is a cinematic VR experience built around a 49-square meter physical installation that guides the viewer through the different stages of garment production from cotton farm to sweatshop, and from catwalk to consumer purchase to the afterlife of the garment. The seven scenes of the film consist of 360-degree live-action footage that imparts a stunning, photo-realistic atmosphere. The transitions between the scenes consist of a CGI environment that allows the viewer to walk between the different scenes. This cinematic experience is a pioneering VR piece that tests the implementation of physical and sensory effects through settings that incorporate heat, wind, scent an shifting terrain. By adding multidimensional sensorial effects, the filmmakers seek to draw the participant into an immersive physical experience that enriches storytelling in a new way.
Italian-born director and fashion photographer Francesco Carrozzini. Photo Credits: Leigh Vogel
Carrozzini states, “I have worked in the fashion industry for many years, but regretfully I ignored the consequences our business has on the environment and people around the world. When the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate program and Vulcan Productions proposed that I direct the film, which was so beautifully conceived by MANND, I felt compelled to be part of it, as a way to learn even more about the impacts that I had neglected for so many years. I was immediately attracted to this project because it held the potential for experimentation with strong political messages and virtual reality.This has been one of the most eye-opening experiences of my professional life, and I hope the film will educate the world about some of the harsh realities of the fashion industry.”
The story of X-Ray Fashion begins at a fashion show where audiences mingle with catwalk models wearing stunning clothing as photographers flash their cameras. Audiences are ensconced in glamour as the narrator, Carrozzini himself, tells of a survivor of the tragic Rana Plaza disaster who told him that, “In some parts of Asia, the color of the rivers can predict the palette of the upcoming trends fashion.”
The original concept for the X-Ray Fashion installation was developed by the Danish VR company MANND for the Uniting4Climate VR/360-Video Pitch Competition established in 2017 by Connect4Climate – World Bank Group.
Giulia Braga, Program Manager of World Bank Group's Connect4Climate. Photo Credit: Leigh Vogel
Giulia Braga, Program Manager of the World Bank Group’s Connect4Climate program states, “The power of immersive storytelling and new technologies to connect people with real issues around the world can not only inspire others to take action, but also has the potential to completely shape the way stories are told in the future with this new medium. Virtual reality can create profound empathy and that is a very powerful tool, especially for groups like Connect4Climate, working to deliver messages that will connect with people and inspire positive change. We are excited to introduce this experience to audiences and provide a deeper understanding of the impacts of the fashion industry on people and the planet.”
Andrea Boragno, CEO of Alcantara, expriences X-Ray Fashion. Photo Credits: Leigh Vogel
Andrea Boragno, President and CEO of Alcantara, says, “With the rapid development of ready to wear fashion for the everyday consumer, it is imperative that we highlight the effects that mass production and consumption has on the planet. The story of X-Ray Fashion utilizes immersive technology to show we can all be more conscious of our purchasing habits, and the consequences that these choices have on people and the environment.”
“By exposing the harsh realities of the fashion industry supply chain, this project will bring new awareness to these human rights and environmental issues, and showcase the power of innovative virtual reality technology,” says Ruth Johnston, Director of Production Management at Vulcan Productions. “We are thrilled to be working with our partners at Connect4Climate — World Bank Group on this, and can’t wait for audiences to experience it all in Venice.”
X-Ray Fashion marks another project for Vulcan Productions in the virtual reality and experiential sector. Vulcan recently launched the Holodome, a new immersive reality space that completely surrounds audiences and transports them to incredible places. The Holodome currently resides at MoPOP in Seattle, Washington.
Photo Credit: Leigh Vogel
In 2016 Connect4Climate produced the first 360 VR video of the World Bank Group, March4Earth, partnering with VR content studio RYOT and providing an immersive look at the People’s March for Earth. The event gathered thousands of people in Rome, Italy, in support to Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si and its message of integral ecology and Care for Our Common Home.
Maria Herholdt Engermann and Signe Ungermand, co-founders of MANND, say, “Winning the VR pitch competition, established by Connect4Climate and World Group Bank, gave us a unique and exciting opportunity to create an original concept for a large international production, spreading awareness on a highly relevant topic, the ‘global pollution’ caused by the fashion industry. MANND specializes in new immersive storytelling experiences and by bringing the respective subject to life through the use of VR, we can captivate our audiences in an unseen and stimulating way. We hope this experience will add to the future debate on how we, as consumers, have a responsibility towards making the world more sustainable.”
X-Ray Fashion can be experienced by media and Festival delegates from August 29 to September 9. The VR installation, on Lazzeretto Vecchio Island, will be open to the public from September 4 to 8. VR passes may be purchased on the Biennale website: labiennale.org.