These clothes by Montreal fashion designer Ying Gao curl and unfurl in reaction to light. Called Living Pod, the first dress contains light sensors that activate tiny electric motors sewn into the fabric folds.
Ruffles in the second dress copy and exaggerate this movement, spilling out from a slash in a leather coat.
The project is on show at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec in Canada, entitled Ying Gao: Art, Fashion and Technology, alongside Gao’s dresses that look like they’re breathing – see our earlier story.
The exhibition continues until 28 August.
Photographs are by Dominique Lafond.
Coats in the series Living Pod were developed in tribute to the British architectural collective Archigram. In the 1960s, Archigram conceived mobile, ephemeral and inflatable structure-dwellings.
Light, shape variations and mimicry meet in Living Pod. In front of the false twin pieces, the user can slowly set garment A in motion using a light source.
Garment B then imitates piece A in an exaggerated and unbalanced fashion, changing structure through miniature electric motors activated by light sensors that are sewn through the garment.
Using flat-pattern cutting techniques, Ying Gao was able to give the process fluidity and flexibility. In addition to the mechanical movements of the garments, Living Pods underlines two fundamental aspects of today’s fashion system: confrontation and imitation.
The garment plays a mediating role between man and his environment. By using light, Living Pod is similar to project Walking City, which uses air to make the pieces look like they are breathing.