"We're not going to make money on this, but it's a beautiful moment."
Last Friday, supermodel Bella Hadid closed out French clothing brand Coperni's Paris Fashion Week (PFW) show in what was, admittedly, the most spectacular of ways — standing nearly naked on the runway, Hadid held still while two men armed with aerosol bottles effectively spray-painted a dress onto her figure using a sprayable fabric called Fabrican.
The Coperni label — which is named after mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus — called the spectacle a moment where "fashion meets technology," and indeed it was. Fabrican, created by Dr. Manel Torres, is a fascinating material, one that can be rebottled and reused after a clothing item is made.
But while this was celebrated as a feat of innovation, Fabrican actually isn't new; as Rachel Tashjian pointed out for Harper's Bazaar, it was created nearly 20 years ago. And to that point: where's the line between true innovation, and bottling something into spectacle and calling it new?
Bella Hadid cerró el desfile de Coperni ss23 con un vestido creado en vivo HISTÓRICO pic.twitter.com/9CuqElStym
— N°13 (@altacostur) September 30, 2022
As Vogue Business explains, the liquid inside of a Fabrican bottle contains cotton or synthetic fibers. Those materials are suspended in a polymer solution, which evaporates upon contact with the skin.
"The technology opens new possibilities for personalized fashion," reads the Fabrican website, "allowing individual touches to be added to manufactured garments... chic clothing could incorporate fragrances, active constituents, or conductive materials to interface with information technology."
In other words, Fabrican's creators envision a world where their solution can become a sprayable clothing cocktail — mix in your favorite perfume or unidentified tech-interfacing conductor, and you have what may one day be the bespoke 'fit of the future.
"After a decade of research," the site continues, "this futuristic vision is taking shape."
But this is Fabrican's vision, not Coperni's — the dress, as they admit themselves, won't (and really can't) actually be sold.
"It's our duty as designers to try new things and show a possible future," Coperni's creative director, Sébastien Meyer, told Vogue Business. "We're not going to make money on this, but it's a beautiful moment."
That's a lovely sentiment, but even though the brand won't be selling the Fabrican dress, it has dominated the post-PFW SEO circuit, which will likely generate more sales than one dress ever could. And sure, that could be great for Fabrican, should they ever make it to market in a meaningful way.
For now, though, the innovation that is Fabrican exists mostly in a viral video.
READ MORE: A spray-on dress and a solid gold bag: Coperni goes after Gen Z with novelty and fun [Vogue Business]