For her newest presentation, Clara Daguin is showcasing 5 interactive luminous dresses, programmed in partnership with Google engineers. This is the first time Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects) has entrusted a fashion designer with an artistic carte blanche, integrating connectivity into garments using the proprietary Jacquard by Google technology.
The performance centers around ORACLE, a digital palm reading given by model and iconic muse Axelle Doué. The intricate central piece worn by Axelle represents the universe, entire galaxies and constellations lighting up as the visitors approach their palms to her hands: she is wearing gloves embroidered with Jacquard by Google technology. The surrounding luminous dresses embodying the four elements— air, earth, water, and fire—come alive during the reading, with mirrors reflecting them into infinity. The pieces are crafted from diverse materials, both natural and synthetic. Well beyond typical textiles, Clara Daguin implements optical fibers, pleating, embroidered circuits, addressable LEDs, sculpted resin, home-grown alum stone crystals, Swarovski Elements, silk organza, microcontrollers and radio frequency modules.
Held in the Palais des Mirages (Hall of Mirrors) — a life-size kaleidoscope invented by engineer Eugène Hénard for the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 — the singular space is nestled inside the Musée Grévin, Paris’s wax museum. Adding to the aura of the presentation, guests will enjoy cocktails in the Column Hall, mingling with synthetic replicas of famous personalities.
Clara Daguin’s fashion practice and Jacquard by Google innovations echo one another as they both work towards creating hybrid interfaces, bridging the digital and physical worlds. ORACLE uses the invisible computing power of Jacquard technology, which is embroidered in the form of a thread into the gloves worn by Axelle, transforming them into touch sensors. The interaction detected by the gloves is then sent wirelessly to illuminate the surrounding dresses, influencing the intensity, movement and color of the light.
Matching the experimental nature of Clara Daguin’s Haute Couture presentation, three of the dresses from the collection are also available for digital-only dressing as custom fitted and AR looks via DRESSX. The Oracle, Earth and Water dresses can now be worn on photos and videos in the digital-only format on the DRESSX app. The two other dresses will be dropped in the digital format during the following weeks exclusively at DRESSX.
Link to the app: apps.apple.com/us/app/dressx/
About Clara Daguin
Clara Daguin was born in France and grew up in the Silicon Valley.
Her artistic practice is an artisanal approach based on the association of traditional savoir-faire and technology, crafting “experiential” pieces merging embroidery and electronics. These interactive garments speak to the symbiosis of natural and artificial we experience daily, and question what it means to be human in a tech-driven world.
Using fashion as a medium allows the body to play a central role in understanding our evolving relationship to technology. The use of light as material gives substance to invisible energies, pulsations and waves inside of this body and around it. Light evokes the idea of the infinite, what is intangible and esoteric.
Function follows form as much as form follows function; the circuits and embroidery are designed in tandem so that the technical specifications of one meet the graphic needs of the other. Here the “practically useful” is largely irrelevant. The experience is phenomenological and intention is placed on surprise, emotion, and contemplation.
Clara Daguin collaborates with researchers, stylists, film-makers, artists and musicians. She was a finalist of the 2016 Hyeres International Fashion Festival and has been showing her work regularly during Paris Fashion week since.
She is based in Paris, France.
Photo: Christina V Henningstad @christina_henningstad
Production: Fashionview @fashionview.eu