Co.Design

Ew! A Pulsating Dress Made Of Realistic Fake Skin [NSFW]

A garment, by Dutch fashion designers Local Androids, imitates the dynamic qualities of human skin. Guess what we wanna be for Halloween next year?

You know how some people’s temples pulse wildly when they’re mad or spooked or nervous? That’s more or less the idea behind Like Living Organisms, by Dutch fashion designers Cor Baauw and Leonie Baauw of Local Androids. A futuristic neckpiece (or dress, depending on whether you think boob coverage is a requirement for the latter), it’s made of freakishly life-like fake skin and has "veins" that beat visibly in the company of other people, then deflate when touched as a "sign of trust," the designers say.

How it works: The garment comes equipped with two sensors and air pumps. When the wearer approaches another person, one sensor forces air to flow through the veins, simulating a pulse. A second sensor, which responds to touch, then flattens the veins.

Like Living Organisms is not the first tech-enabled garment to imitate the natural processes of the human body, but it nabs our vote for the creepiest. Note the texture and light mottling of the skin, which the designers hand-painted. Here, Baauw explains, via email, how they created it:

It is made out of a silicone named 'dragon skin,' the same silicone is used to make props for the film industry, like masks or flesh wounds. We painted it with a special silicone paint named 'psycho paint.' The psycho paint is also a form of silicone and can be mixed with regular oil paint or pigment to give it color. We carved skin textures in our molds so when we painted it with thinned reddish psycho paint the skin texture became more visible as you can see on the skin texture closup picture. Then another thin layer of base skin color to give it more depth and finally we added some freckles. The beautiful thing about dragon skin is that you can mix it close to the transparency of human skin. And then build it up like layers of skin starting with the base color then adding a layer of red and finishing with another layer of base skin color.

So Like Living Organisms might not find its way onto the racks at Bloomingdale’s, but it sure could make for one hell of a Halloween costume.

The garment is featured in Technosensual, an exhibition on fashion and technology, at the MuseumsQuartier Wien, in Austria. More coverage of the show here.

[H/t Fashioning Tech]

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6 Comments

  • Brian Coggon

    Interesting concept, Ellie K has a great point and may see a future for this material and move away from the vogue and toward the need.  Still a bit crazy

  • Ellie K

    Maybe this could be re-purposed for people who have suffered disfiguring skin and cartilage damage from fire or chemical burn accidents. But without the weird inflation/deflation feature.

    As it is presented now, I feel sorry for the beautiful model. She appears to have a  massive tumor growth which then collapses into folds of flacid skin - NOT an attractive look! It is a look that many people would pay a small fortune to avoid.

  • Dj

    Lady Gaga is going to be all over this, or should I say it's going to be all over her..

  • Ellie K

    The same idea crossed my mind too. Buffalo Bill and even Bill Cody <shudder>.</shudder>