Two months after we had first met the designers shortlisted for Festival of Curiosity’s studio residency, it was time to shine. The Chocolate Factory had been transformed from their usual work space to a full blown runway and guests were taking their seats in excitement, probably just as much as the designers and models backstage.
Through their residency, the creatives – Ally Nolan, Maureen Sellina Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Roisin Pierce – explored how new technologies can be integrated into fashion design. Each of the designers presented their unique vision of fashion and technology, which is why the jury (including our own Kristina Dimitrova), had an incredible difficult task of choosing a single winner. After much debate and discussion, the Future Fashion Design prize was awarded to TCD Master student Ally Nolan for her piece The Queen of the Night.
See below the magnificent pieces from all six designers and the inspiration behind them.
Ally Nolan – The Queen of the Night (Overall Winner; Most Creative Use of Technology)
Design inspired by 18th-century crinolines and 1950s Dior; The 800 petals are laser cut at different depths, making the neoprene fabric semi transparent. When they are back lit with LED lights the detail on each petal is illuminated. Topped with a sheer mesh black bodice and a beret composed of battery powered petals.
Maureen Laverty - Where's my Arm Hole / My Head's Stuck (Best Design Process)
Organic jersey garments that interact with each other through sensors made using conductive fabric and stitching. The integrated pressure and stretch sensors between the top garments change the intensity and pattern of the lights in each skirt, controlled by the wearer's movement.
Rebecca Marsden - Ionic Wave (Best Use of Materials)
This look explores the study of negative ions generated by the sea and their impact on our mood, energy levels and general well being as island dwellers. The piece combines knit, bonded foam and LED technology.
Through integrating technology the dress aims to respond to the wearer, mimicking the reactions the negative ions have. They also aim to generate a response from the viewer, one of curiosity, elevated mood and enjoyment.
An oversized metallic jacket is teamed with the dress. Lights inserted across the shoulders transition from blue to green flooding the jacket with light. The lights are to be triggered by a proximity sensor to respond to viewers’ curiosity and interaction with the look, generating an uplifting experience through personal engagement.
Danielle Jordan - Inside Out (Most Challenging Concept)
Texture inspired by neuroscience and human biology, the study of the nervous system and how it functions. By merging technology and pattern drafting, Danielle created a working system within the garment, ‘a visual nervous system,’ controlled by muscle sensor. The wearer’s biology changes the actions of the technology.
Dearbhla O’Beirne - 'Cloud Bursting' (Best Interpretation of Theme)
Made using hundreds of white straws and LED lights to depict cloud formations which inspired O’Beirne on her travels in Mexico.
Roisin Pierce - Contact / Comfort (Most Unique Concept)
Developing from a recurrent theme in her work since 2015 on connection and closeness in garments.
Two outfits cojoint by a 3D textile accordion garment, creating a physical connection/ disconnection. The accordion is driven electronically by controlled, geared digital motors that controls an innovative pulling technique, where the specially placed cords tighten and loosen to contract and expand the piece mechanically which can be activated by a hidden switch.
The work combines old handcrafted textile techniques with modern high-tech health fabrics whilst ensuring the fabrics have conductive properties to help the energy flow to power the motors.
We can’t wait to see how these designers will continue exploring the relationship between fashion, design and technology and inspire others to explore the space.
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