In the manner of things inter-webby, I found myself staring at this image. Curiosity on full alert!
Is this real? Can it be real? It’s so realistic, it has to be real. It can’t be real; it’s probably AI, says my brain at first glance. I mean … it’s so odd. The clothing, the look, the designs. But, it has to be real, says my brain. Look at those textures in the fabric. Those seams in the outfit. Look at the detail in the Nike logo? The people, the models, they look real. Their skin looks real. The extraordinary detail of the folds, the drapes and the shadows of the clothes … the lighting, the shadows of the photography. Could AI do such detail? How did this come to be that I live in a world where I must use all manner of intuition, research and wonder to determine Real-NotReal?
want, want, want
Oh, how I could snuggle up — maybe even hibernate, come the right turnings and travels of our planet — in one of these. (Yes, yes, I’d want them in my dusty cool summer-palette colors, but I’m sure things such things could be arranged.) What glory. What grandness. What luxury and comfort to climb into this contraption of softness and snooze.
fly me to the moon
In sleuth mode, determined to find out if these designs were part of some new far-fetched (and really fabulous) new Nike line of clothing, I used the “search image with google” feature to find other sites with the same image. Alas, I have yet to find any source or creator, nor anyone claiming to have made these images. (This is the guy who posted the image to a FB group.) So, the images most likely are AI-generated. Also–and big clue–there is nothing on Nike’s site (had to check to see if they had a “feel the softness” campaign … just in case this was legit), nor is there any other online chatter or articles about these clothes. So, yeah, yeah. They have to be fake. Not “sewn by someone, and photographed” but fake, as in AI’ed into creation.
To add yet another nail in the AI coffin, the only place I can find mention of these clothes are on a non-Nike YouTube account and in random TikTok videos.
But look at the detail! Look at the model’s hands, their phalanges, their bones pushing through the fabric on the right side. Or the detail of one hand being slightly out of the pocket; the other fully in.
The folds, the shadows! The slight puckers in the stitching by the logo. Argh! Looks legit to me!
what was that?
Here’s a memory and connection (in my mind).when I see these photos.
One of the stranger and still-unexplained-to-this-day experiences happened one night while I was out driving (for Uber) on Route 1 in Howard County. It was a spring evening, I believe, and kind of on that not too warm-not too cool spectrum. A nice sweater and maybe a scarf would provide enough warmth for the weather that evening.
I was driving south bound on Route 1 when my eyes lit on a sight I still cannot explain. Walking — nay, stumbling, half rolling — northbound and at the edge of the road was a rather large “person” (I’m guessing it was a person in that it had two feet, two arms and a head) in what appeared to be a full-body, gray-colored, Michellin-Man-like suit. The “person’s” head was fully covered, more in like a helmet manner, but there was no exposure of a face. The whole head was covered in the same material.
As I drove toward then past “the person” my mind was roiling with possibilities. I had never seen anything shaped like this (except comical images of the Michelin Tire’s logo-guy), and maybe something from a 1950s-type B-grade sci-fi movie.
“The person” (I still don’t know if it was) was stumbling and trying to take some steps but couldn’t get any rhythm to their movement. They couldn’t get up. They’d take a step or two, then fall down as if weighted down, then try to get up again.
I saw “this person” for only a 15-20 seconds or. Something like that. I wasn’t timing it. It was just ODD. Really, really odd. Pattern unrecognized, definitely in the physical image and shape of the body and head, but more so in the ambulation. I still cannot make heads or tails of what I saw that night (I did look online and checked local newspapers over the next few days to see if anything odd had been reported), though the Michellin-Man outfit in this wish-it-were-true Nike “Feel the Soft” clothing line (assuming you could cover in full the model’s hands and head) is the closest thing I’ve seen since.