E-Wasser Catwalk. A Sustainable Digital Fashion Performance

Alena Kiarnia

Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach (HfG)


M.A.: International Media Cultural Work, Immersive Catwalk experience, digitalized Fashionshow

“E-Wasser Catwalk” is a digital fashion performance that challenges the traditional notion of haute couture and sustainability in the fashion industry. The performance is a joint thesis project of two international students studying in the International Media Cultural Work Master’s program at Hochschule Darmstadt, Alena Kiarnia and Mohamed Hesham Amer. The project participates in the performance festival “KunstTREFFPunkt” organized by the International Forest Art Center (Verein für Internationale Waldkunst e.V.) and the Center of Art and Nature (Zentrum für Kunst und Natur e.V.) in Darmstadt. The performance will be held on 31 August at 20:00 at Friedensplatz, Darmstadt. “E-Wasser Catwalk” turns Friedensplatz into a runway to showcase a collection of 15 hybrid garments augmented with digital textures. The performance artistically explores the concept of virtual water, which refers to the hidden amount of water wasted in the clothes production process. It raises the question: can fashion be more conscious of water through the use of digital technologies? The project blurs the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds, combining offline performance with real-time augmented reality (AR) components, and inviting the audience to take a fresh look at the beauty. Six displays and one big projection screen will be installed at Friedensplatz to accompany the models’ walk. For the augmented part of the show, unique digital textures were produced using 3D scanning and AI generation techniques. The textures refer to the concept of virtual water, recalling the evanescence of water’s surface. At the show, the textures are incorporated through chroma key technology, which overlaps them onto the blue clothing worn by the models. The “E-Wasser Catwalk” cherishes the idea of sustainability. By exclusively using preused clothes, the event promotes the idea of reuse and waste reduction. Moreover, the catwalk celebrates body diversity and different skin tones, featuring not professional models. Thanks to the participation of international students on the catwalk, the performance represents the international student community of Darmstadt and embodies the philosophy of the KunstTREFFpunkt performance art festival, which encourages international connection and collaboration.