My guilty pleasure TV show isn’t Under the Dome or Revolution (I only made it through two episodes of that one). It’s hard for this sci-fi geek to admit, but my go-to brainless television is Project Runway, a rare foray into reality TV for me. I’m hard-pressed to sew on a button, so I’m floored by what the contestants can make in such a short amount of time. By far the best challenges are the unconventional ones, where designers have to create a gown out of supplies from a hardware store or from foodstuffs. Fashion has long embraced the bizarre — avant garde couture is weird contemporary art — and more and more it has begun to adopt sci-fi, space, and technological components. So what do you get when you combine fashion and science?
Dresses like the ones made by Dutch designers Jolan van der Wiel and Iris Van Herpen. Their forthcoming collection features cosmic grey dresses that look like an outfit one might wear for a gala on the moon.
The collection was inspired by magnets’ ability to attract and repel, and the designers wanted to create the illusion of a “dress growing on a human body.” The idea is perfect for Van Herpen, who has dressed awesome weirdos such as Bjork and who strives to incorporate nature into her designs. Teaming up with van der Wiel also made perfect sense, as he has been working with magnets for a while. His Gravity Stool demonstrates the balance between gravity and magnetic fields.
The dresses in the new collection are made of iron filings and resin, which the designers manipulate with a magnet to create wearable landscapes. They tried to make the material as flexible as possible so they could apply it over a basic cloth design and shape it into something dress-like. I can’t imagine these dresses are very comfortable to wear, though van der Wiel insists that they’re “soft and cuddly.” Regardless, women have less attractive and less cool garbs in the name of high fashion.