Master Course in Fashion Design, Accessories Design and I-Design 2010
Project Leader: Massimo Banzi and Barabara Trebitsch
Assistants: Renzo Giusti, Serena Selva
Project Title: About It
Keywords: Scar, Imperfect, Pride, Memory, Touch, Healing
Team Members: Carolina M Cestero-Font, Deniz Yesim Talug, Mert Bagcilar, Emre Aktuna, Nandhini Sundaram, Smriti Sain, Zayda Blaleth Lopez Rodriguez
About IT aims to investigate the possible collaboration between technology and fashion through the creation of an interactive garment controlled by a programmed Arduino. Past projects collaborating fashion and technology have created garments and accessories that have some sort of technological intervention in them, but have been unable to completely capture the fashionable imagination. The lack of an emotive link has kept them from being adopted into the mainstream fashion universe. About IT is an effort to overcome this very same con by creating an item of complete and absolute beauty that has an emotional connection to the user and strives to become an inherent part of her lifestyle – just like true fashion; and all this alongside the creation of a technologically controlled interactive scenario.
What is it?
Scars are the remaining aftereffects of the wounds of yesterday. They can be physical or psychological; worn with shame or showed with pride. When people don’t feel comfortable with their own “skin” it can be helpful to have a way to heal through time.
About IT is an interactive garment made in light beige pure wool, stitched with unconventional seams and paneling. Deconstructed effects have been created on the seams with “scars” that are physically represented through rips on these same seams. The intention is to translate scars into a beautiful and desirable detail on the garment as a representation of the wearer trying to accept, be comfortable with or even proud of them.
How does it work?
Healing through physical interaction can help a person who is in need of feeling being comfortable with. Based on physical interaction the scars heal and empower the person to overcome adversity.
The scars on the dress open with the passage of time to reveal the “wound” i.e. the bare skin of the wearer. This is triggered by a heart beat sensor in the garment every time it is worn. This opening signals to the person herself and to the people in her surroundings that a show of love, comfort and caring is needed to help her heal the memory of the incident associated with the scar.
Comforting efforts are best represented through physical interactions between human beings like hugs or comforting back pats and rubs. A touch sensor located at the back of the dress is used to detect this physical interaction that triggers the Arduino to slowly close the scar, and in effect, heal it.
The closing of the scar / rips in the seam are controlled by opposite polarity of magnets that keep the scars closed when needed. A small motor located on the side neck seam of the dress controls to opening of the scar by pulling a series of threads attached to the magnet bearing in-seam.
Value and Potential
About IT is a beautiful garment and concept that would appeal to a vast majority of women, all of whom have been through some sort of a negative incident that has left them scarred physiologically over time. Due to this, a lot of women out there will be able to relate to About IT in an instant. The biggest value is the strong emotional connection.
About IT is relevant to women who have been left with physical scars on their body due to undergoing surgery after major accidents. The garment is a way that they can accept and even love the new physical manifestation of those accidents.
About IT is also relevant to women who have recently recovered from life threatening diseases like breast cancer etc. and are forced to live with big scars as remnants of the operating procedures to cure them completely. The garment for them would be a symbol of pure pride of having been strong enough to have withstood the entire life threatening ordeal and come out as a stronger person on the other side.