While researching and exploring ideas and methods for a Concept Studio 1 project, the professor introduced me to a work by Lea Albaugh. Her work Clothing for Moderns is an emotionally-reactive dress that responds to a lack of human interaction. It creates the image of the head of a person as a flower that blooms when cared for.

The flower is made of fabric in a pattern that can compress and uncompress. Wires push and pull the structure open and closed. It is not clear how the system is controlled technically. It may listen for a drop in sound level or simply be remote-controlled. The wires are most likely actuated by hobby servos.

I am drawn to this work because of the way that it represents an often hidden or private emotion externally. I explored this concept in my last Concept Studio project. Machines and even an external yet natural-appearing forms that represent internal emotions are uncomfortable for both the wearer (aka the embarrassed) and the viewer. Piece that use this concept are expressive and meaningful because they establish their meaning from the wearer.

Clothing for Moderns by Lea Albaugh