2021 was a big year for the virtual world, with giant leaps forward in technology and tech giants jumping into the metaverse. Here at Emperia, we’ve made several tremendous leaps and bounds, changing fashion VR, one experience at a time. In honour of that, we’ve compiled a list of ten of our favourite virtual reality experiences of the last year.
1. Dior Beauty
‘Atelier of Dreams’ is Dior Beauty’s regal and ethereal virtual reality experience designed with Harrods to deliver a rich sense of magic for visitors.
Two worlds collide, the real and the digital uniting to create a one-of-a-kind experience in Dior and the Harrods flagship store. Visitors can freely move about the virtual tour and purchase their favourite Dior Beauty products with a second floor accessible through the iconic tree that takes pride and place in the gallery.
On the second floor, visitors can experience the Exclusive Dior Garden, an enchanting addition to the tour featuring limited edition perfumes artfully laid out in a magical, moonlit garden, perfect for evoking a festive feeling. The virtual reality experience allows visitors to book in-person appointments for an up-close-and-personal engagement with the exclusive products.
In July, Emperia teamed up with bespoke art auction house Christie’s, leading private sales all over Europe, Asia and America.
Emperia helped Christie create their virtual exhibition ‘Expanding Horizons’, which celebrated Eastern and Western art to sell the pieces. To that end, art collectors and buyers were allowed to browse the virtual gallery at the comfort of their own home and learn more about each piece of art as they looked for something that caught their eye while inquiring about fragments of interest, directly with Christie’s experts.
As per our high standards, we set the virtual gallery in a new, bright open space room that accented the bold and colourful paintings and sculptures, creating a memorable experience that sings of sophistication and culture.
3. Dom Perignon X Lady Gaga
Harrods made another big splash in the virtual world by playing the UK host to a luxurious virtual experience Dom Perignon and Lady Gaga brought to the world.
The centrepiece of the opulent virtual experience was the Uber Piece, a sleek, modern sculpture created by Lady Gaga, complete with a magnetic dress. Profits from the sale of the Uber Piece would go towards Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, a rewarding cause befitting of the grandness of the tour.
Visitors would enter a divine crystal palace complete with a sweeping staircase and pillars featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes campaign videos. Visitors could purchase the two limited edition bottles of Dom Perignon, the 2006 Rose, and the Vintage 2010 directly off their virtual stands. The Uber Piece took pride in its dedicated room, which provided the perfect complement to the exquisite sculpture framed beautifully by gigantic photographs of Lady Gaga herself.
4. Harrods x Burberry
Harrods continued its virtual streak by partnering with Burberry to celebrate the release of the latter’s new signature bag.
The Olympia bag instantly calls to mind a sense of elegance and grandeur, so naturally, the Greek theme had to continue. The virtual pop-up went straight for an inspiring and immersive experience by framing the products with elegant Greek Elpis statues. This classic finesse of Harrods was emphasised by exquisite golden trees that call to mind the extravagance of the luxury department store’s entrance hall as they invite you through the gateway into the experience.
A giant screen placed in the main room allowed VIP clients to communicate directly with store staff and schedule in-store appointments.
The bags themselves perfectly imitate their real-life counterparts, highlighting the attention to detail through a 360 view. The experience is made as authentic as possible for visitors so that they can feel like they’re seeing the actual bag itself, achieving complete immersion and creativity in a world that won’t soon be forgotten.
The virtual experience was also named one of top 10 eCommerce website designs for 2021 by DesignRush.
5. Skarstedt Gallery
The Skarstedt Gallery virtual experience is bursting with life and personality. The ‘Painter/Sculptor’ tour is a passionate celebration of a host of talented artists all collaborating to bring visitors an immersive and engaging virtual experience.
The virtual gallery allows you to get up close to the art and sculptures and enjoy the experience with the most advanced level of detail imaginable. 360-degree views of all the sculptures encourage visitors to fully explore the gallery and soak in everything it has to offer.
The gallery’s main room is framed by four smaller rooms, providing visitors with a whole artistic experience and guaranteeing that there is something for everyone, with every bright splash of colour destined to catch your eye.
Cyberdog’s virtual experience is vastly unlike anything else on this list. Every virtual experience was classic colours, sleek architecture, and luxurious sophistication. Cyberdog’s tour is a dark explosion of bold neon whose deeply woven frenetic energy is almost hypnotic.
The clothing and accessory rave-themed store seeks to design the best party clothes, and the glowing nightclub vibes accentuate that perfectly.
Emperia worked with Cyberdog to create a unique and personal experience for London Fashion Week, creating a virtual store that looks and feels like the real thing, allowing visitors to treat it like they would any standard brick-and-mortar store. Browse, buy, drink in the vibrancy – this virtual experience brings us right to the heart of what Cyberdog is all about.
7. Crean and Company
With a classic and modern white finish, Crean and Company’s solo show, In the Wings, which debuted in November, takes full advantage of a bright open room to showcase the very best this virtual exhibition offers.
The focus on light as a subject perfectly complements the light space the paintings occupy, setting and artwork flowing in and out of each other seamlessly to create an all-encompassing sense of allure.
Laura Smith, the mastermind behind the art, works to deconstruct our intrinsic understanding of everyday objects, employing a sense of frenetic energy and colour into her paintings, masterfully manipulating light and shadow into a captivating blend of modern abstract and classic paintwork.
8. World Health Organisation
Premiering in October, the World Health Organisation (WHO) partnered with us to host an art competition based around Covid-19 for children aged 8 to 18 years of age.
This interactive and engaging virtual exhibition encouraged children to draw their feelings on the pandemic and try to convey how it had impacted their lives and the lives of their families and friends.
Finalists got to see their work displayed in a state-of-the-art professional and attractive virtual gallery, giving their innermost thoughts a sense of sophistication and giving their art the complete star treatment. A variety of unique styles and stunning pieces can be viewed on the virtual tour on our website, showcasing a broad selection of masterpieces that highlight the creativity of youth.
9. TAFETA Gallery
TAFETA is dedicated to showcasing the talents of Black artists at any stage in their artistic career, giving them a voice in a professional, contemporary setting that celebrates their work and culture in grandeur.
The virtual exhibition is set in a modern space that calls to mind the layout of a home instead of a classical gallery, uniting the sophistication of the setting and the art with undertones of familiarity and comfort, a feeling strengthened when viewing the impressive array of vibrant art.
10. Uniting to Combat NTD
In support of the World Health Organisation, Uniting to Combat devised a virtual gallery to showcase art and tell a powerful story about peoples’ experiences with Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD).
This fascinating and meaningful exhibit that debuted in March 2021 sought to raise awareness about rare tropical diseases with a storytelling competition that called for the voices of those affected by the diseases to tell rich personal stories and make a significant cultural and environmental impact.
A richly designed gallery emphasises bright open windows looking out onto a desert landscape and warm, soft colours. The centrepiece of the virtual exhibition is a brown spiral staircase leading up to a room steeped in tropical aesthetic from a wide variety of plants to a vast open sky.
2021 was a fantastic and innovative year for virtual reality projects. Emperia is proud to have been an integral part of bringing this imaginative and immersive world to life and only aims to go on to even bigger and better things in 2022!