Imagine a dress, part couture and part arachnidian armor, that reacts to the room around you; perching on your shoulders and testing the air with arachnoid grace, mechanical legs moving aggressively to protect your personal space if its sensors identify someone approaching too fast or too close. Once a fever dream of science fiction imagining, such a dress has been created in a collaboration between designer Anouk Wipprecht and engineer Daniel Schatzmayr.
First featured at Cafe Neu Romance, an international robot performance festival in Prague during EU Robotics Week 2012, the dress is designed to exist as a ‘host’ system around the wearer, exploring the parallel social constructs of “personal space, control and privacy.”
“[Designer Anouk Wipprecht] seeks to create a ‘higher connectivity between the body and clothing’ by investigating the extent to which we experience fashion (emotionally, intellectual and sensual levels) in a physical and psychological way wherein what we wear responds to us, and also affects due to what we wear. Producing something more than just the traditional function of coverture and adornment; what results is one-of-a-kind, architectural, avant-garde garments with bold silhouettes, vested with circuitry and a regalia of plastic tubes, fluids or smart foils and the ability to respond in an unique and remarkable way to human bodies.”
Whether you consider Wipprecht’s designs to be cutting edge techno-fashion or simple social commentary, there is no denying that they represent a fascinating marriage of futuristic design and delightfully eerie costumery.