Current Issue
This Month's Print Issue

Follow Fast Company

We’ll come to you.

1 minute read

Science Meets Fashion In Amy Winters’s Light-Reactive Clothes

Picasso and Mondrian, rendered as techno-glamourpusses.

  • <p>Most of Amy Winters’s autumn/ winter '11 collection is ready to wear. Here, a dress hand-printed with a luminescent ink dot pattern.</p>
  • <p>Under a black light, the ink glows vivid blue.</p>
  • <p>This dress also turns blue in UV light. The pattern was  printed digitally.</p>
  • <p>Winters was partly inspired by 20th-century Modern art. Here, a silk-satin scarf features a Picasso-esque print.</p>
  • <p>The line’s showstopper, this dress is made of neoprene covered in electroluminescent panels. The panels illuminate in response to music.</p>
  • <p>At the highest volume, the dress lights up in blue, white, and red -- the colors of the flag of France, Picasso’s adopted homeland!</p>
  • <p>Panels hand-printed in light-reactive ink change from white to light blue under the sun or UV rays.</p>
  • <p>The print echoes the paintings of Dutch master Piet Mondrian.</p>
  • 01 /10 | Blue Silk Petal Mini-Dress

    Most of Amy Winters’s autumn/ winter '11 collection is ready to wear. Here, a dress hand-printed with a luminescent ink dot pattern.

  • 02 /10 | Blue Silk Petal Mini-Dress

    Under a black light, the ink glows vivid blue.

  • 03 /10 | Fuchsia Silk Petal Dress

    This dress also turns blue in UV light. The pattern was printed digitally.

  • 04 /10 | Picasso Scarf

    Winters was partly inspired by 20th-century Modern art. Here, a silk-satin scarf features a Picasso-esque print.

  • 05 /10 | Picasso Explosion

    The line’s showstopper, this dress is made of neoprene covered in electroluminescent panels. The panels illuminate in response to music.

  • 06 /10 | Picasso Explosion

    At the highest volume, the dress lights up in blue, white, and red -- the colors of the flag of France, Picasso’s adopted homeland!

  • 07 /10 | Orange Mondrian Coat

    Panels hand-printed in light-reactive ink change from white to light blue under the sun or UV rays.

  • 08 /10 | Orange Mondrian Coat

    The print echoes the paintings of Dutch master Piet Mondrian.

  • 09 /10 | Mondrian Grecian Maxi-Dress
  • 10 /10 | Blue Mondrian Coat

You know when someone's fashion line is inspired by "liquid geometrics and light paintings," it's going to be good. Or at least fantastically weird.

The autumn/winter 2011 collection of young, London-based fashion designer Amy Winters serves up a big heaping of both, with techno-glam garments like a coat reminiscent of a Mondrian painting that changes colors in response to light and a light-emitting, sound-reactive dress called, wonderfully, the "Picasso Explosion." On Winters's catwalk, art and science collide. What results isn't couture so much as theater. Winters (whose full name, Amy Konstanze Mercedes Rainbow Winters, is itself a form of theater) describes her clothes as "a touch-sense-sound multisensory experience."

Winters wields tech in the way a couturier wields a needle.

Her trick is to wield technology the way a couturier wields a needle and thread. Much of the line, including the Mondrian coat, is printed in a patented, light-sensitive ink. Sunlight and ultraviolet rays alter the molecular structure of the ink, changing the fabric's color. Take UV Blue Textile Ink Water, which appears invisible during the day but glows electric blue under a black light at night. But the dazzler here, the head-trippy Picasso dress (slide five), lights up to music thanks to electroluminescent (EL) technology and a sound-reactive sensor. Sound triggers the sensor, zapping EL panels attached to the dress with an electrical current. The current charges phosphor crystals pressed between conductors. Then the crystals radiate light, illuminating a Cubist pattern printed on top. Et voila: a Picasso Explosion. (Though doesn't it look more like something out of Tron?)

Winters's clothes are designed explicitly to wow at high-octane affairs: in "music videos, rock concerts, award-ceremonies, advertisements, magazine editorial and red-carpet events," the press release says. Frankly, though, we're not sure where this stuff belongs, on the red carpet or in some parallel universe, where Picasso and Mondrian moonlighted as blissed-out Candy Kids.

[Images courtesy of Amy Winters; hat tip to FashioningTech]

loading