TR: On another dress, the zipper on the front of the bodice closed automatically. What technology was involved?
RE: We drew a magnet up on a string. The [monofilament] was sewn very delicately into the hem of the fabric and then over her shoulder and down her back.
TR: A lot of nontraditional materials were used in the show. One dress seemed to have a skirt made of plastic cards that automatically rose up off the body, shrunk, and then changed color, from white to silver. What was that dress made out of and how did it work?
RE: It was all precontrolled on a microcontroller, on a timed sequence. We set the sequence just before the model exited out onto the stage. We hit an “on” switch, and off she walked. At the appropriate moment the panels were all released and pulled down … again with cables.
TR: Are these dresses for sale?
RE: No, no. Definitely not. I believe that these dresses are going to eventually find themselves in a museum.
TR: Where do you go from here? Will you be creating new designs or licensing the technology you’ve developed?
RE: That’s entirely up to Hussein or any other fashion designer who cares to commission us.
TR: Do you see any of this as the future of fashion?
RE: I’m not a fashion designer, so I can’t really comment [from a design perspective]. But [technically] I think it’s possible–it’s very possible. There’s no reason why you couldn’t have something so that instead of you having to reach down and pull something when it starts raining … it just reacts to water and a visor comes down to protect your eyes.
Smaller design teams can now prototype and deploy faster.