Material culture in clothing and fashion has always been linked to technology - from looms to sewing machines to the processes of harvesting raw materials and transforming them into 'cloth'. However, the concept and materiality of textile is being contested with new technical practices which subvert conventional expectations of what cloth should be.
Increasingly, material research in clothing and fashion is leading us down the path of synthetic and organic explorations to enhance garments by means of novel manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, rapid prototyping and bio-couture, by reconsidering harvesting philosophies such as local production, and by implementing scientific novelties such as carbon nanotubes and shape memory alloys.
What is more, many of these innovations at the textile substrate have transformed the relationship between our bodies and clothing - presenting us with a varied field of material expression and somatic experience. This event seeks to ask questions about new materialities for clothing, investigates the crossover between fashion and applied uses, and probes towards a future of clothing without “cloth”.
In this edition of Test_Lab you will witness Emily Crane prepare molecular cuisine 'garments' in front of your very eyes; probe the speculative designs of Central Saint Martins’ Textile Futures ateliers with MA course director Carole Collet; join Christien Meindertsma to question what happens when you harvest wool from your own flock of sheep to then computationally knit your sweater; test out high-tech laboratory-developed garments from Grado Zero Espace and experience what it feels like to walk in Pauline van Dongen’s 'printed' shoes made in collaboration with Freedom of Creation.