Collaboration

Description

[Original Statements of Intent by Designer and Scientist]

Luminous Firefly:
To don this garment is to encase onself in a living vessel of light, like a firefly. The light radiates off the softly wearable material, hinting at the duality in the sensual touchability of the fabric and the tough structured bodice that provides protection and utility. This work reflects on the sensorial aspects of light and sound. The dress illumination references the organic petals of a flower, a spirit of nature glowing from inside. As the wearer moves, her motions affect how the satiny material reflect the light against her skin. This tactile imagining redirects the light into geometric patterns and creates a kaleidoscopic blur of body space.

Designer’s Statement: Attached are some completed sketches for the basic dress design foundation. The fabric folds and led warm color are based on actual photos of existing fabrics that I wove a sample led lighting into. I then built the design on the computer
to get the “look” I wanted. It is definitely influenced by Alexander McQueen’s futuristic designs inspired by natural forms. I am using backlit and frontlit plant form motifs.
I envision the fabric options to be variable in color and surface but think that a satin print material for the base of the dress with layers of abstract and floral materials/forms on top.

Scientist Statement: I am exploring how light interacts with natural forms in response to Harry’s sketches. The flower-shaped bodice serves as decoration and provides structure for reflecting light. I think about the design language possibilities for expression that opens up if the light can enhance how this natural form appeals to the sense of vision, sound, touch, and even taste and smell. In particular, we can think of ways the dress can communicate basic natural phenomena, such as camouflage or advertising. Perhaps the dress can exhibit patterns to attract attention, like flowers attract bees. Or perhaps the colors may try to help the wearer blend in to belong to a group, like a zebra in a herd. Even more interesting to me is the potential for unique expression, such as simply expressing “I am happy,” like the twitter of a songbird.