The Eindhoven-based designer Bart Hess does the impossible: He makes digital 3-D modeling sexy. His animation for Modebelofte 2011, the fashion component of Dutch Design Week, highlighted the garments using a digitally created, blurred-out human silhouette that spins and turns and dips in fluid, elastic slow motion. But it’s an elasticity that retains a warmth over and above any similarities to the human form.
The Modebelofte animations are structurally similar to his collaboration with Walter Van Beirendonck on “Skin King,” a video for the Antwerp fashion designer’s Winter 2008-2009 collection, in which the clothes sprout animations that partially conceal the model’s torso. Meanwhile, phrases like “I hate copy cats” scroll past like Barbara Kruger aphorisms.
Hess has created two recent shorts that give a startling amount of life to a skin-like substance: Earlier this year, he designed slime suits for Lady Gaga’s video “Born This Way,” while his teasers for STRP, one of the largest indoor art and technology festivals in Europe, contain figures that look like biomorphic rubber infused with neon techno.