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Theo Saloux: “A 3D model speaks louder than a drawing”

Six ESMOD Paris students have designed a collection of digital garments as part

of a collaboration that the school has entered into with Asus.

With a passion and talent for set design, artistic direction, clothing and graphic

design, Théo Saloux is a real all-rounder, so it’s no surprise that the 3 rd -year

student at ESMOD Paris was chosen to participate in the school’s collaboration

with the Asus brand. The aim of the project was to create a collection of digital

meta wear garments as part of the Fenêtres ouvertes (‘Open Windows’) initiative

aimed at promoting the agility of the Vivobook S14. It also provided the perfect

opportunity to reveal how a new generation of creative talents looks at subjects

as fundamental as the relationship with the body and the study of stage

performance in the age of virtualisation and augmented reality.

Planetesmod: What made you want to go to fashion school?

Théo Saloux: It really was a two-step process for me. I was in the last but one

year of my scientific baccalaureate at secondary school where, as you know, very

little importance was placed on fashion. Our French teacher took us to the

Théâtre de l'Odéon to see Shakespeare’s Richard III. That was in 2016, the year

that marked the 400 th anniversary of the famous playwright’s death. I was

amazed by Thomas Joly’s modern baroque staging and really admired it. It was

really inspiring, and I then became interested in costumes. The other event was

the death of Karl Lagerfeld, which prompted me to learn more about his career

and about the designer’s role. One thing led to another and I realised that I really

liked fashion, costume, clothing and this whole art of creating a character and a

world; I had found my vocation! I applied to ESMOD Paris during my final year,

and I knew before the end of the year that I’d been accepted.

You’re into digital design and staging. How is this reflected in your academic

career at ESMOD?

In the second year, we had a ‘Digital’ option, which I was quick to choose because

I wanted to become more familiar with the CLO 3D software. I already knew a

little about the tool’s environment because I’d learned to use Marvelous

Designer, by the same Korean publisher, on my own so I could dress video game

characters, but CLO 3D is really fashion-oriented. I chose the ‘Performance’

specialisation for my third year of study to keep my hand in with the world of

theatre and dramatisation, of which I’m very fond, because what really drives me,

from a creative perspective, is being able to tell a story.

What motivated you to get involved in the partnership between the school and


The partnership related to a design pop-up store held in Paris from 23 to

26 February. It was intended to highlight the versatility of the new Asus computer

(the Vivobook 14) by demonstrating its ability to open a large number of

windows, thus allowing the user to work on many different projects at the same

time. The aim of the initiative was, on the one hand, to demonstrate the

computers’ performance, and on the other hand, to showcase to the public the

new potential that 3D offers when it comes to fashion design, be it in terms of

styling, model-making or animation. Five 2 nd -year students enrolled on the

metaverse/Meta-Wear class were asked to participate, and my software skills

meant that I was also asked.

What challenges did this project present?

The collaborative aspect of the project was a challenge in itself. We had to, in

order, create the avatars, their make-up, their skin colours, their body shapes,

etc. then design the clothes by moulding or drawing them and finally choose the

texture, the fabric, the prints and the method of applying the logo before

bringing everything to life. We worked based on our individual affinities, with

some more interested in creating the avatar or designing the clothing while

others were more into the texture side of things. Personally, I was more

interested in moulding the garments, so creating the patterns.

Are you interested in pattern-making and cutting?

I am, actually. I like to spend hours on patterns, trying to get the best possible

cuts, which is sort of the key, so to speak, to realistic and viable fashion design.

I’d love to become a creative director, and I love the idea of being able to share

with a team a series of silhouettes that are not just drawings but 3D models with

basic patterns. This would, I think, really help speed up the process, even where

the marketing teams were concerned, because a 3D model speaks louder than a


Do 3D technologies change our relationship with clothes, with staging or even

with our own bodies?

Fashion isn’t always inclusive, even today, but 3D technologies, as we used them

for the Asus project, for example, do represent a major step in this direction. The

software allows us to capture all types of silhouettes and body shapes, including

large and children’s sizes. The database allows us to finetune lots of different

parameters based on height and weight, and in a realistic way.

So this work using 3D technologies doesn’t steer you away from the concrete

essence of the garment?

Let me give you an example. My end-of-year project is focused on creating a

brand and a collection line that has to be commercially viable. The brand is called

Sublimisme, in reference to sublimation – the creative process of transforming

an impulse, usually sexual or transgressive, into a work of art – and brutalism, an

architectural movement based on large, gross and straight volumes. I’m

developing the 20 silhouettes entirely using CLO 3D, including the prototyping of

the garments themselves, which will give me about fifty or so looks. I’d also point

out that the mannequin I developed isn’t the classic male size 38; I deliberately

made it very large, oversized, even, which allows me to take a different approach

to gradation. This digital work isn’t at all incompatible with the physical reality,


So you don’t think 3D technologies are just a fad?

No, they’re not a flash in the pan or a gimmick. On the contrary, 3D technologies

allow us to further reflect upon the pattern and construction of the garment, its

weight and the choice and density of the fabric without necessarily using

standard sizes. If I print and sew this pattern it’ll give me a true copy of the

garment created, so it’s tangible from a model-making perspective and also

makes it possible to develop an ambitious collection from an animation

perspective, not to mention the savings it offers in terms of time, materials and

fabrics, which are so impressive.

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