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.


“Notes from the Acrid Plain with Burton Hoary, Vol. 7”

One of the most memorable features that I saw during the Seattle International Film Festival in 2008 was a short film directed by Jonathan Ashley, called Notes from the Acrid Plain with Burton Hoary, Volume 7. It was a whimsical, eerie, darkly humorous, yet touching post-apocalyptic narrative styled like a vintage documentary, where “naturalist Burton Hoary hosts a survey of the toxic landscape known as the ‘Acrid Plain,’ peopled by the masked descendants of the human race. This chapter focuses on the Harvesters, their obscure practices and the perils they face.” I was pleased to discover that the short film is now up on YouTube.