Fashion reaction: Dress responds to sonic stimuli

11.09.2013 New York : Montreal : Ying Gao

New York – Fashion designer Ying Gao is showing Incertitudes, an experimental dress that reacts to sound, at the Opening Ceremony By The Water pop-up at New York Fashion Week.

The garment is covered in dressmaker pins and attached to robotics equipped with audio sensors. When a person engages the dress with sound, the fabric fluctuates and changes the overall pattern produced by the pins.

The project is built around the idea of uncertainty, says Ying Gao, who is based in Montreal. The designer quotes French philosopher Gilles Lipovetsky in explanation: ‘The less foreseeable the future, the more we need to be mobile, flexible, ready to react, permanently prepared to change, super-modern.’

The experimental dress suggests a future in which everyday garments will combine with technology to respond to increasingly turbulent environments. Ying Gao is interested in the garment’s function as a ‘fragile protective space’, which takes on added urgency in a context of polluted urban spaces.

For more on how designers are reflecting audio in physical objects, see our Sonic Landscapes design direction. For more on how brands can engage consumers through sound, read our Soundscapes macrotrend.

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