We first met Moritz Waldemeyer while planning INTERLACED 2015. When we paid an introductory studio visit to the London-based designer – whose creative capabilities span across everything, from art and product design through to lighting, fashion and entertainment – we became keen followers of the world that he creates, built on a philosophy of playful experimentation.
One of the most recent project of Waldemeyer, who has previously worked with fashion pioneer Hussein Chalayan, is what he calls ‘the most precious piece of electronic couture to date.’ The Topaz Catsuit is an elegant body suit covered in illuminated Topaz stone with subtle waves of animated light running through the gem stones. The work is the result of a collaboration between Moritz Waldemeyer Studio, Deborah Milner and Ostro Minerals and was created for fashion icon Daphne Guinness, who wore the dress during her appearance at the Natural History Museum celebrating the unveiling of the world's largest cut Topaz.
We caught up with Moritz to talk more about the project.
Tell me a bit about the Topaz Catsuit. How did the idea come about?
We were approached by Deborah Milner's studio with the idea to make a Topaz outfit to be worn by Daphne Guinness during the unveiling of the world's largest cut Topaz at the Natural History Museum. The design came from Deborah and we helped with the detailing of the Topaz integration. We worked closely with Deborah and Ostro Minerals to find a solution for the floating gemstones.
You describe the garment as the most precious piece of electronic couture to date. What are the technical aspects of the outfit? Does it have any functionalities?
The garment is covered in Topaz gemstones, which happen to be a lot rarer than even Diamonds. The challenge was to illuminate these stones while making the necessary technology invisible to the observer. We used full colour LEDs, each of which can be controlled individually. This allowed us to run smooth animation across the outfit.
Was it a collaborative process? If so, what did all the partners bring to the team?
The team members included Deborah Milner and her studio who are world class in the couture business. They drew the design, planned the pattern, selected the fabric and embellishments and turned it into a high-end piece of fashion. Ostro Minerals are world leaders in Topaz production and distribution. They supplied the stones and gave invaluable advice on their use. My studio was responsible for the integration of light and the stones, we built on our extensive catalogue of wearable technology which we adapted for this particular project. Daphne and her band were the ones showcasing the final outfit and provided valuable feedback and inspiration to everybody involved. Everybody brought along amazing positive energy and excitement, making this one of the most enjoyable projects to work on to date.
What was the feedback when the outfit was unveiled?
We had a very positive response, people loved the magic of the illuminated stones. Also the fact that the outfit used just real gemstones heightened the intrigue and drew many aahs and ooohs during the event.
Do you see such direction in fashion and technology entering the mainstream any time soon?
This outfit was more an exercise to take fashion and technology to an absolute extreme, so the polar opposite of the mainstream. Saying that, I think the question of this type of technology entering the mainstream is more a question of culture than one of technology. If there is a demand then the supply will follow rather rapidly.
Related: Watch Moritz's keynote at INTERLACED 2015 below
For more from INTERLACED 2015, check our video playlist here.
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