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Anouk Wipprecht’s “Spider Dress”

Having previously posted about the “Spider Dress” prototype, I was delighted by the unveiling of the finished design last week. Pearl-colored, reminiscent of Iris van Herpen‘s 3D-printed couture creations, this gorgeous dress by Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht is a marvel of fashiontech (the intersection of fashion and technology). The animatronic garment is inspired by animal behavior, using motion and respiration sensors to respond to the approach of others – “The dress measures the wearer’s stress levels with wireless biosignals, and aggregates this information with measurements of others’ proximity and speed of approach (it can detect movement up to 22 feet away). The dress changes according to these various data inputs, gauging how the wearer is feeling about the people around her.”

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The Fashiontech Marvels of Anouk Wipprecht: “Smoke Dress” & “Spider Dress”

Dutch fashiontech designer Anouk Wipprecht, who specializes in interactive garmentry that responds to its environment and to human presence/input, has created a breathtakingly beautiful dress in collaboration with technologist Aduen Darriba, which emits clouds of smoke when it detects someone approaching.

Also a source of delight and awe, born of a collaboration between Wipprecht and hacker/engineer Daniel Schatzmayr, is the dramatic, eerie, and hauntingly lovely animatronic “Spider Dress” – a prototype of a mechanic dress equipped with sensors, indicators, and controllers, created with the aim to give more power and “psychological thrills” to the sugar-sweet character that performative wearables often have. Sensoric, servo-controlled, mechanic, microcontroller-based, and reacting/attacking upon approach, surprising the audience with different moods and behaviors. To boot, it’s inspired by LIMBO, one of my favorite video games.

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Anouk Wipprecht: The Merging of Technology and Fashion

Anouk Wipprecht is a Dutch fashion designer who works in the emerging field of “fashionable technology,” defined by Sabine Seymour as “the intersection of fashion, design, science, and technology.” Anouk seeks to create a “higher state of connectivity between the body and our clothing,” a physical and psychological relationship wherein what we wear responds to us, and we are also affected by what we wear, producing something more than just the traditional function of coverture/adornment. What results is one-of-a-kind, architectural, avant-garde garments with bold silhouettes, vested with circuitry and a regalia of plastic tubes and the ability to respond in a unique and remarkable way to human bodies.


The Birds, an installation piece inspired by the Hitchcock film

Examples of Anouk Wipprecht’s “wearable tech” include Fragilis, a dress that eerily mimics the function of the human heart and veins through motion and lighting (similar to the Heartbeat Dress, which conversely uses sound, recording the heartbeat of the model and relaying it to the audience through speakers embedded in the dress), and Intimacy, a set of garments that become more or less transparent and opaque in relation to their proximity to each other.