Imagine a world where you could answer a few simple questions and—voila—a slideshow of dresses would be emailed to you, available to borrow. It’s sort of like having a chic older sister that’s the same exact size as you without having to deal with the hassle of asking her to loan you something, huh?
Armarium is a fashion industry best kept secret that, whether we like it or not, is now officially offering that exclusive high fashion stylist experience to you—yes, you. You, sitting at your desk reading this, could go online right now, answer some Q and A’s and have a virtual stylist procure looks based on your personal preferences.
ARMIBOT, Armarium’s latest venture, helps you pick a look for your next big (or small) event in a manner of minutes (or seconds if you’re a fast typer). The bot was developed with the help of Armarium’s circle of celebrity stylists (including Meredith Melling and Valerie Boster) who helped to come up with a series of questions that help capture your preferences—from dream designers, to favorite styles, to ideal colors, and pretty much everything you could think of—thereby creating an array of potential pieces for you to borrow.
"We launched a couple of years ago to give women across the country a chance to wear runway looks that were typically afforded to celebrities and VIPs,” Trisha Gregory, Armarium’s CEO tells us. “The new ARMIBOT will enable us to scale our styling service and allow us to work more closely partner with retailers. Now, we can help you complete your look in the most seamless way, via the lookbook which will come complete with rental items from the ARMI, alongside the best edit of what to buy."
I tried the bot out, as I’m heading to the Golden Globes in a few weeks, and was pleasantly surprised by the non-bot-likeness of ARMIBOT. ARMIBOT sent me funny GIFS from The Devil Wears Prada, photos from some of my favorite fashion shows, and made jokes ... and not those cheesy automated jokes where you’re, like, eye roll, but actual funny jokes.
I told ARMIBOT where I was going (a black tie event), when the event was, my height, dress size, and dress type preference—long, short, strapless, etc. I was also asked what part of my body I want to emphasize (my collar bones, duh) vs. what I want to minimize. Next came a series of questions regarding my fit preference, favorite designers, and style icon, which, for the record, at the time of taking said questionnaire, I answered confidently: Tilda Swinton.
They say it takes 24 hours from when you take the survey for your lookbook to arrive in your inbox, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email only a few hours later with my bot-curated picks.
Not only did ARMIBOT deliver me a beautiful digital booklet of dresses, but each dress came complete with accessories that are also available. Some of the options selected for me included a Roberto Cavalli Chiffon Gown (the bot told me I’d be the FIRST to wear this dress!), and a Mugler Middle Cut Out Gown (picked based on my collar bone comment). While I wasn’t sold immediately on any of the looks, my interest was piqued, and regardless of whether ARMIBOT came back to me with the dress of my dreams, it sure was fun chatting with him/her.