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Interactive Clothing: The future of Fashion in Sci-Fi Context

Published onOct 19, 2021

2021.9.21 Project Concept

Background and intention

Soaring freely in space is always the dream of mankind for thousands of years. Science fiction writers, film directors, artist and scientists spare no effort to depict their blueprints in space. However, spacesuit is lack of aesthetics and imagination at present. A space suit or spacesuit is a garment worn to keep a human alive in the harsh environment of outer space, vacuum and temperature extremes so there are many restrictions when designing cloths for space flight. Even in a fictional space scene, people still use the same design language of dressing as on earth, without considering the influence of hyper-gravity. Zero gravity can mess up your look, and blood rushes to the head and puffs up the face. Hair floats like seaweed in a current.

In this case, there is a huge gap between high fashion clothing and spacesuit. I wonder whether I can take advantage of hyper-gravity to explore the potential of high fashion clothing in Sci-Fi context.

The research mainly focusses on following two aspects:

  • Explore a unique mathematically cloth-design language which is inspired by hyper-gravity settings and create a dress which has different appearance/performance with gravity and without. Here is a reference for clothes design with sensory technologies that allow garments to become more poetic and interactive. This idea can be exteneded into the hyper-gravity context.

  • Research people’s new interactive way with the dress: how to use mechanical systems to help people interactive with their clothes in the hyper-gravity context. Attached is a series of model photos in zero-gravity environment. However, more interaction way can be further explored.

Why zero gravity matters in this project?

1. In space: Fashion is way to attract more people into the civilian space flight market for public.

2. In fashion industry: Provide a new setting for fashion show. High fashion companies are seeking different stage design for their products. For example, the LOUIS VUITTON Men’s Fall-Winter 2021 Fashion Show which is directed by Virgil Abloh, put a lot of American street scene into a very sci-fi space.

LOUIS VUITTON Men’s Fall-Winter 2021 Fashion Show

2021.9.27 Concept Development

Concept Welldefined

The project should make a well balance between scientific research and art performance.

For research: collect data of fabric movement in the context of zero gravity

For public: visualize the feeling of zero gravity flight

For art: visualize the data in an artist-style expression

The movement of the cloths(fabric) becomes a space data-visualization plateform both for research and art performance.

Fabric Chosen

There are three components in the project:

People have different body movement in zero-gravity context and on Earth. As shown in the diagram, the movement of the clothes is influence by both zero gravity and the body movement of space. If both of them are studied in this project, it is difficult to quantify the impact in a mathematic way. Therefore, one impact should be excluded in this project.

If two control groups are set up to make comparison the differences between fabric movement on Earth and in space(zero-gravity), the chosen fabric should be able to:

  • Minimize the impact of zero gravity;

  • Maximize the impact of human body movement in space.

In this case, nylon/silk thread would be chosen in this project as they are very light material, which can ignore the impact of gravity.

*Should do more research on the suitable (lightest material).

*The movement(direction) of the thread could be captured both in space an on Earth to make comparison.

Two control groups(Research Process)

For the scientific research part, the dress should be experimented both in Earth environment and the zero-gravity environment. In the Earth environment group, several body movements should be selected to perform. As for the zero-gravity group, same movements should be do again and be captured.

Human physical activity

In both group, use specific kind of camera to capture fast motion.

multiple exposures of flahes

As the result, the products of this project should include:

  1. A design cloths;

  2. Two sets of artist style photos.

*After the performance on Earth and in the zero gravity flight, we can compare with two sets of photos and anaysis the difference movement of people using mathematics.

Design Process

  1. Digital modelling: Using Houdini and Marvelous Designer to simulate.

    Examples of cloths simulation

  2. Physical modelling: small model prototype and real modelling.

*Using different colors of the silk to create artist style using computational design method.

Iris Van Herpen Design

Equiments and materials

  1. Fabric (silk/ nylon) (different colors)

  2. Camera which is used to capture the fast motion (Can I borrow from the lab?)

  3. Dummy (one small and one big) (Can I borrow from the lab?)

  4. Tools (Tape Measure, Tailor’s Chalk, Dressmaker’s Shears, Sharp Scissors, Sewing Machine, Machine Needles, Seam Unpicker, Pin Cushion, Thimble, Toile, Calico, etc)

  5. Software (Houdini and Marvelous Designer)

2021.10.05 Concept Confirmed


Fashion in Space – Female Garment in Sci-Fi context

—— Testing stretches on different kinds of weaving and knitting fabrics in zero-gravity

Why Female Garment?

The first spacesuit was produced by a bra company and was made by hundreds of womens working days and nights.

Therefore, in this design , I want to consider how female can take ownership of the clothes they want to wear in space in the near future, and how fashion is combined with spacesuite.

How to research?

Target: understand the stretches of forms of fabrics in zero-gravity context.

Main idea:

Fabric  == > Weaving / Knitting  == > Patterns == > Different Body Part == > Fabric deformation (Visualize the stretches of fabric)

Different kinds of weaving methods and knitting methods of fabric:

Weaving and Knitting

In this project, I focus on five diffrent kinds of weaving and knitting methods.

We understand the stretches of fabric on Earth but still don’t know how fabric perform using different weaving and knitting methods.

How to measure/ visualize the stretches of the fabric in space but in the meantime it still has fashion style?

Solution: Using changes of patterns(Design on the joint) to visualize the changes of stretches in space.

Need to explore the degree of deformation and apply to the fabric

Example of the deformation I want to create in the project

2021.10.12 3D printing test

Some problems I met:

Find the knitting machine

Another object polyjet machine to 3D print the testing piece

Get a mannequins

Some data of human movement in zero-gravity context

Path to PDR

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