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​​Descience. How science creates the fashion of the future

Over the past twenty years, fashion has been looking very closely at technological and scientific discoveries, thanks to which not only colorful futuristic outfits are created, but also a symbiosis of design and technology, fashion and science: descience (design + science). Some fashion designers show themselves in this advanced direction especially brightly. 

Modern technologies have penetrated into all areas of our lives – thanks to them, all computer games have become much brighter and more interesting. For example, the site online live sports betting has original graphics and a modern interface that attracts the attention of users.

Hussein Chalayan: a man of ideas

British designer Hussain Chalayan calls himself not a “fashion man”, but a “man of ideas”. He draws them from books on physics, biology, and anthropology, he is interested in technological progress and the forces of nature. For example, Chalayan’s 2000 Before Minus Now collection featured two dresses made of romantic pink tulle, but with extreme avant-garde shapes. The author said that they represent the forces that influenced the formation of our planet. In the same year, in the Afterwords collection, he presented a series of transforming outfits that became a landmark for him. But if the designer started with what seemed like an illusionistic trick (a chair cover turned into a dress), in 2007 his spring prêt-a-porter collection was already truly amazing. Chalayan connected the technical team to the creation of the collection, which made the hippogriff for the film “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

The result is outfits and headgear that change shape like magic that even Hogwarts would have approved of. Long skirts turned into short ones, zippers closed and unfastened on their own, and the silhouette of Victorian England became modern.

The show caused general delight, and the designer did not stop there. The next step for Chalayan was to work with optical fibers and lasers in the 2008 Readings collection, created in collaboration with the Swarovski brand. Once again, there was a grand performance, during which tightly structured dresses and hats, reminiscent of Japanese tradition, emitted fiery red rays in the darkness.

For the creation of the spring-summer collection of 2009, the fashion designer was inspired by cars and car accidents. Dresses made of silicone in hallucinogenic prints turned out to be especially memorable: the effect of fabrics frozen in the cosmic wind, or some outlandish alien creatures.

And last year, in cooperation with Intel Corporation, Chalanyan again mastered technologies. This time – very much in the style of our nervous XXI century. Sensory devices embedded in clothing measure heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and brain activity levels. Their purpose is to serve as an indicator of stress, which is not always immediately recognized by a person. Chalayan believes that his devices help him better understand himself and disperse the clouds on his emotional background if the need arises.

Iris van Harpen: Star Wars on the podium

The Dutch designer has been dubbed a “technological fashion genius” and is cited as an example of how high fashion is about more than hand-woven lace, painstaking embroidery, and miles of velvet and brocade. Indeed, her outfits look like they were designed in science labs or made for the filming of a Star Wars movie.

Previously, Iris’s sketches go through the stage of computer modeling and only then does manual work begin (this integral feature of haute couture is preserved). She uses materials that are little associated with the production of clothing: plexiglass, carbon fiber, latex, magnets, polyethylene terephthalate, or geotextiles used in construction and landscaping. For the 2013 Voltage collection, dedicated to the electricity and energy of the human body, the designer used the experimental material TPU 92A-1 and the processing of fabrics with a laser sintering process. She pioneered the use of rapid prototyping technology in fashion; this method was used to make the entire collection of 2012 called Hybrid Holism.

Iris has completely different laces: they are laser-cut from fabrics. Even when working with ordinary materials, the fashion designer uses non-standard methods: covering leather threads with metal foil or combining metal with silk gas, creating smoky puffs that do not come into contact with the body – a real miracle of science.

Iris’ outfits are more like living sculptures or architectural structures, and sometimes, as in the 2010 Crystallisation liquid clothing collection, more like water splashes. Unsurprisingly, the outlandish silhouettes and artistic avant-garde attract the most extravagant stars: Lady Gaga and Björk love Iris’ outfits. A fashion designer can be inspired by anything: the Macro collection was inspired by photographs of microorganisms taken through a microscope, and the Biopiracy collection is designed to draw attention to the problem of biopiracy.

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