The fabric of Ying Gao's Neutralité Dresses undulate gently until onlookers pay too much attention.
We have seen a number of interactive garments, such as a 3D printed dress that use cameras and sensing technology to blur the lines between fashion, science and social interaction. The latest of these are Ying Gao’s Neutralité Dresses, which explore the relationship between the wearer and the gaze of those around them by undulating beautifully, until the onlooker pays too much attention.
Inspired by microbial life, Gao’s two dresses — named ‘Can’t’ and ‘Won’t’ — are made from cotton mesh, high-tech super-organza and PVDF. The material forms lacy tendrils, which move gently and continuously, thanks to robotic mechanisms spread throughout the design. But the garment also uses facial recognition software to judge the emotional response of onlookers and if they react with anything except a neutral expression, the dress stops moving. Gao explains that the dresses are a paradoxical fashion statement, offering a contrast to the status quo of using fashion to attract attention and reactions from the the wider world.
How else could facial recognition software be used to explore and highlight people’s unspoken reactions?