Augmenting Art into a new Reality with Doddz

a new Reality with Doddz

Yatin Srivastava

Augmented Reality has strongly grown into a sphere in Fashion that is not only grabbing the headlines, but has also been the most boundary pushing avenue in terms of evolution in fashion currently. With many delving into the Virtual Fashion space, only a few designers like Doddz has created a brand that is known for its augmented reality prowess. An eclectic designer relying on his own virtual understanding of art, Doddz is creating a mark on the fashion world that is very unique. We sat down for a conversation with the UK designer about his work and the method behind the madness.

Image of the Designer

Yatin: How did you get into Art, Design and Fashion?

Doddz: I’ve always been interested in fashion and customising clothing. I used to get inspired seeing Tyler the Creator use a simple black marker to turn his Odd Future merch into unique garments and I’d do the same thing with my clothes. Art I fell into by mistake, I took Graphic Design at College thinking it was Woodwork and never looked back.

Yatin: Painting is a very heavy aspect in your artistic work, where did the love of painting come from and what did it teach you?

Doddz: I never really thought about this before but I guess I’m emulating people I look up to. I take a lot of inspiration from Basquiat and he uses a lot of oil sticks on canvas and I like the idea of using a traditional method like paint on canvas with the modern twist of technology.

Expressing yourself using paint is the pinnacle of creativity, there’s a flow-like state you enter where the whole world is blocked out and you’re focused on what’s in front of you. It’s a meditative state and I rather enjoy it.

Yatin: When did you decide to quit your previous job and make the shift to Augmented Reality? What drove you to it?

Doddz: It wasn’t any big Hollywood move where I dramatically quit and hustled my way towards a career. It was always the goal to use my last job to learn as much as I can about business and then quit pursuing art. I even told them that in my job interview. I started off full time, then down to 4 days, 3, days, 2 days, was put on furlough, and then finally handed in my notice.

Yatin: You’ve worked for a lot of big brands and big names in the recent years. How did you end up forming those relationships?

Doddz: This is where I can not stress enough the importance of a Personal Brand. People want to work with people they like and want to trust that you’re the right person to rely on. If you are impossible to find then how can anyone work with you? There are certainly better artists and AR creators out there but I work a lot on ‘getting myself out there’. The fact that 100% of my collaborations have come through LinkedIn or Instagram proves the value in investing time and effort into putting yourself out there.

Yatin: How did it feel to have your work showcased in Times Square in New York?

Doddz: It’s a crown jewel in the portfolio for now and certainly has opened up a lot of opportunities for me, but I prefer the making of the artwork rather than the final piece. I’m more excited about the ideas I haven’t started yet or the projects I’m currently working on and as the expectations get bigger, so do the ideas.

Yatin: Considering you’ve been working so heavily with AR and brands, do you think we will see more AR-based garments and experiences from luxury brands?

Doddz: I certainly hope so! There’s no evidence to suggest that brands are going to stop investing in digital fashion, it’s more of question of who will do it best and how far will it go. I think most brands are working on a digital garment strategy for 2023. In fact, I know brands are because they’re the sort of collaboration invites currently coming in.

Yatin: What advice would you give to artists and creators looking to get into the world of Augmented Reality?

Doddz: Make sure you’re getting into AR because you’re interested in it, not just because it’s popular at the moment. If you’re interested in it then make the worst AR effect you can possibly make. Hopefully, you’ll learn how easier it is without any pressure to produce something amazing and then you can try and make a second effect that’s slightly better.

Yatin: What is next in store for you?

Doddz: I’d like to produce more artwork and build a body of work separate and brand collaborations, build upon ‘Doddz the Artist’, and see where it takes me.

With his recent show unofficially closing London Fashion Week, Doddz presented a myriad of AR based pieces that ended with a show that many thought wouldn’t work as well as it did. As model’s calmly walked down the runway, attendees witnessed the collection on their phones through an AR filter that beautifully projected clothes onto the models. Accompanied with a strong message talking about the excess in fashion and how harmful fast fashion is to the world, Doddz showcased a unique amalgamation of Reality with Augmented Reality and how that could look in the near future. For how unconventional the entire working of Doddz’s artistic vision is, it’s implementation is certainly making people focus on the extent of power virtual fashion has as an expression of art and design.