This Dress Strikes a Pose #WearableWednesday

This week I’m presenting a mystery dress. It’s beautiful and holds its shape when crumbled or leaned on. It will turn the wearer into a flowing statue filled with creative movement and curiosity. What is it? It’s a design by Ardjoen Mangre from his wearables class at the Technical University Eindhoven. Like me, he seems captivated by moments.

We are living in a time in which people hurry and live fast. Sometimes the movement of the body is even not being experienced while moving. For instance, riding a bicycle to work is almost an auto pilot. This dress tries to focus attention on movement of the person who wears it, making them try out new movements and play with them.

The question is, how does it work? At first glance, you might think this is operated by a series of small servos placed around the skirt with clear thread raising and lowering the skirt. However, it is obvious that both skirts are crumpling, not just the lining. Also, there just doesn’t seem to be bulk in the underskirt to support it. Then, you might be thinking of Nitinol wire, also called “muscle” wire. This wire has memory and can bend or contract when heat is applied since it is a shape memory alloy (SMA). This is the wire you may have seen used to do those interactive displays of faux flowers that seem to open their petals toward the sun. The problem is that when the video shows a close-up, you don’t see the rows of stitching that would be required to put the wire in place around the skirt. So, what is it? My best guess is that it is a shape memory textile, which probably operates in a similar way to the Nitinol wire, except that it comes ready to connect to a circuit. If that is the case, I would love to get my hands on some. Got a different theory? Post a comment. I’m really curious about this project and haven’t been able to get hold of the designer. Also, if you are a fan of futuristic fashion, you should check out our book on 1,000 Incredible Costumes & Cosplay Ideas. There’s lots of cool pics to inspire your next wearable, whether it be a costume or something for public use. Think like Ardjoen, what moment would you like to pay more attention to in your day?


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