The project is an exploration of gender and bioplastic materials. Initially, it questions patriarchal society and the limitations imposed on individuals by preconceived and archaic notions of what is human. It investigates the multifaceted and transformable nature of humans and their inherent tendency to change. It draws inspiration from an investigation into the concept of gender and its history, its implications for society and its inherent limitations. What do we consider human and what kind of future will we have? Will it be positive or negative? And what are our responsibilities as human beings in defining it? Here, gender and sustainability find common ground and become part of the bigger picture. Both gender and sustainability are explored through the body, creating wearables that redefine and blur its contours.
On the one hand, there is gender and its limits. The sculptures are a collage of body parts from different individuals. By bonding them together and creating a new mixed body, the designer wants to find a point of communication between human beings by exploring the concept of wearing someone else's body. The sculptures are deliberately left incomplete to allow them to merge with the body of the wearer. What results is a new creature, a new 'Vitruvian Human' whose gender is fluid and whose body is queer and free of cultural limitations and impositions.
The blurring and inflating of the jacket are other ways in which the designer manages to confuse the wearer's body and make it more difficult to define. The more the jacket is inflated, the less the body is visible and vice versa. Depending on the light and the amount of inflation, the jacket changes colour and displays a variety of textures that mimic water and glass. It is both a transformative object in itself and something that can transform the body underneath.
On the other, there is the exploration of biomaterials and their potential for the future. The exploration takes place through a mix of fashion and artistic practice. There is the technicality of making wearable items with different qualities and capable of performing different functions using a single material. In addition, bioplastic is completely biodegradable and recyclable and, once decomposed, can 'regenerate' as a compost. Bioplastic proves to be an ideal material to use and is also extremely versatile. It can be made in a multitude of textures, colours, hardness, flexibility and properties using a variety of techniques. It can be used as glue, fabric or casting material, it can be draped into a skirt and even inflated. The project explores a variety of uses and functionalities of bioplastics applied to the fashion context. Will the future of fashion rely entirely on biomaterials?
The multifaceted nature of bioplastics mimics the concept of fluidity and transformation. The material changes based on weather and air conditions and is never static. The designer finds a relationship between the transformative nature of humans and that of bioplastics and fuses it into the clothes. Experiments with bioplastics are both ideas for the human body and possible scenarios for the future of fashion.
Bioplastic was treated in different ways depending on the function and the characteristics of the garment. First, the sculptures were mainly made by modelling large sheets of bioplastic on different life-casted body parts. The heat allowed the bioplastic to soften and shape itself on the volumes of the casts. Once dried, it hardened into the corresponding form, creating a variety of textures. The different parts of the bodies were subsequently joined together using bioplastic as a bond to obtain sculptural body suits.
One of the sculptures was created by recycling leftover pieces of bioplastic with a zero-waste technique. Some areas of the sculptures were decorated with a dripping textures reminiscent of water droplets. In addition, the positive of one of the body casts were created using a brush-on technique, similar to that used to make latex masks, by layering the bioplastic. Second, the inflatable jacket was constructed by joining together the different pieces of the garment pattern, which had previously been cut out of large bioplastic sheets. More bioplastic was used to create a solid bond that allowed the seams of the jacket to be securely sealed for inflation. Last, the skirt was cut out of agar-agar bioplastic, sewn and sealed together with more liquid bioplastic. The buttons of the skirt were created using a harder bioplastic recipe and casting them from recycled moulds.
Information submitted by the maker and edited by the Future Materials Bank.
Agar agar, gelatine, glycerine, water, charcoal, spirulina, and natural dye
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