While everyone dons costumes and scavenged for sweets, Capitol Couture brings you the most macabre chic in fashion today. This spectral creation comes to you from Anouk Wipprecht, a Vienna-based Dutch fashion designer with an impressive resume of interactively robotic couture pieces. Her most high profile creation–an outfit for the Black Eyed Peas lead singer Fergie at the 2011 Superbowl–amazed viewers across the globe with his tech edge. She collaborated with designer Bea Akerlund. “Fashion tech is hot on stage, but celebrities don’t wear tech-enhanced accessories or wearables off stage,” Wipprect has been quoted as saying to Vice. “When someone like Will.i.am or Gaga shows up with blinking jewelry or color-changing bags, the crowd will definitely follow.”
Other highlights in Wipprecht’s portfolio include a dress that emits smoke with movement, a frock that becomes transparent with proximity to others, and a dripping-pigment piece that generates a unique garment every time it’s worn. As for the future of tech couture, she sees a bright horizon: “I think in the near future people will start to experiment more with the combination of clothing and technology due to price and availability,” Wipprecht has said. “But still, it has a bit of a geeky feel to it.”
A collaboration with Austrian software developer Daniel Schatzmayr, this particular arachnid-inspired dress has its roots in the French video game LIMBO. It perches protectively on the shoulders, reacting via precise sensors when someone approaches. The effect is eerily repellent and magnetic in its grace and span. If only someone would wear such a magnificent design on the red carpet. That would put off the pesky paparazzi, no doubt. . As a proponent of “fashion tech” creations, Wipprecht sees the inherent design in each piece’s inner workings: “The technology creates the aesthetics,” she has said. Come Halloween night, arachnophobes beware: this black widow is ready to strike.
“The shoes are the worst part. I’ve never worn high heels and can’t get used to essentially wobbling around on the balls of my feet. But Effie runs around in them full-time, and I’m determined that if she does it, so can I.”
Self-professed “body architect” Lucy McRae marries technology and fashion, with a keen emphasis on our anatomy. Experimenting with body form manipulation, this Australian artist utilizes both low and high-tech material “from transparent plumbing tubing to colored gelatin” to create stunning structures that extend the silhouette of the body into uncharted territory. “I became obsessed with this idea of blurring the perimeter of the body,” she tells Capitol Couture. “So you couldn’t see where the skin ended and the near environment started.”
With clients ranging from Vogue to pop star Robyn and artist Nick Knight, McRae—a trained architect and ballerina—is at the helm of an extensive list of projects that dabble in various mediums. She has created short films that explore human cloning and “Swallowable Parfum” is a pill she is developing that works with enzymes to release fragrance through perspiration. Will Cinna soon have some significant competition? The Capitol looks forward to myriad innovations from McRae’s brilliant mind, as she continues her exquisitely unconventional approach to the culture of keeping up appearances.