AI Artists Are Creating Fashion Editorials For the Future

Three digital artists interpret the Spring/Summer 2024 fashion trends with the artificial intelligence app, Midjourney
An AI-generated fashion image by Singapore artist Shavonne Wong, who founded a virtual modelling agency with CGI models

When fashion designers present their new collections every season, they’re not merely showing us some clothes—they’re offering us a vision of who we could become. Through the power of images, the fashion world produces fantasies that are almost out of reach—which, as it happens, is also how you could describe the function of the artificial intelligence (AI) program, Midjourney.

Thanks to its ability to generate realistic visuals from text prompts, Midjourney, which launched in 2022, is becoming a popular tool among tech-curious creatives in the fashion industry. For our Art issue, GRAZIA Singapore has tapped on three such creatives to produce Midjourney-generated fashion editorials that interpret key trends from the Spring/Summer 2024 collections. In their images, Shavonne Wong, Opé Stylestar and Alena Stepanova each explore the possibilities of nascent, generative AI technology, as well as how it intersects with fashion and art. 

“I’ve always been drawn to tools that push the boundaries of creativity, and exploring AI felt like a natural progression of this curiosity,” says Wong, a Singapore-based fashion photographer. She came into the spotlight during the pandemic, when she launched her own virtual modelling agency and had her non-fungible token (NFT) artworks snapped up by actor Idris Elba. 

“I guided Midjourney with prompts, but there’s always an element of unpredictability,” she says, describing the creative process behind her images for GRAZIA Singapore. “My creative influence predominantly came into play during the editing and selection stages.”

Wong adds, “While AI opens new doors for creative exploration, it also involves a degree of surrender in terms of control. The artist’s vision can sometimes be lost or misinterpreted in the AI’s output.”

Alena Stepanova constructs her AI-generated fashion images as though she were in a real photo shoot

For Stepanova, however, using AI has been a “liberation of artistic expression” that has allowed her to “shift from merely observing to actively creating”, she says. The AI fashion designer made her debut at the world’s first AI Fashion Week in 2023, where she unveiled a virtual collection of striking knitwear pieces inspired by her home country, Kazakhstan.

“My creative process thrives on playfulness, which AI readily accommodates,” explains Stepanova, who chooses to use Midjourney intuitively instead of relying on tutorials for the tool. “It has allowed me to explore imaginative realms, like fusing Chanel’s elegance with JW Anderson’s rebellious spirit.”

In creating her images for GRAZIA Singapore, Stepanova married her knack for experimentation with an attention to detail. “I construct my fashion editorials layer by layer, carefully describing textures, shapes, forms, and factors like lighting and location,” she describes. She also considered the facial features, personalities and emotions of the models in her editorial. She adds, “I approach it as I would a real fashion photo shoot.” 

The level of realism that Midjourney’s images offer is something that drew Stylestar, a stylist who previously worked for the fashion label, Betsey Johnson, to the tool. “I have always wanted to take a camera and shoot something or film a fashion piece by myself,” they say. “I found that Midjourney allowed me to craft art that closely resembled fashion spreads.”

Another aspect of Midjourney that fascinates Stylestar is how it could conjure images purely from words. They fine-tune and add personal touches to their Midjourney-generated images with their careful choice of keywords. 

“It’s like my imagination can be produced on demand,” they say. “[Using AI] has allowed me to reconnect with my inner child and breathe life into my lifelong dream of creating a fashion collection.”

Former stylist Opé Stylestar was one of the winners of the inaugural AI Fashion Week in 2023

Stylestar, who also presented at AI Fashion Week last year, was one of three AI fashion designers selected as winners at the event. The prize? Having their collections produced by the fashion retailer, Revolve.

That is Stepanova’s ultimate goal as an AI artist: having her digital designs turned into physical garments. She says, “The most gratifying response I receive for my work is when someone says, ‘I would wear that; I wish I could have it in real life.’”

Wong, meanwhile, hopes that her images for GRAZIA Singapore, which she defines as an art project, will open up a balanced conversation about “the evolving relationship between AI and human creativity, particularly in fashion and art.” 

“[Using] AI can lead to unexpected visual ideas that might not be immediately conceived by the human mind,” she says. “However, it also means moving away from the collaborative spirit of traditional photoshoots, which rely on teams of models, makeup artists, and stylists to create the final image.”

Wong adds, “Through this project, I want to explore what’s gained, what’s lost, and how we navigate this evolving landscape.”

Below, discover each artist’s AI-generated fashion editorial for GRAZIA Singapore.