But most striking is the chameleonic couture on display.
A bejeweled headdress, created with Swarovski’s gemstones division, changes color based on the heat generated by the wearer’s neural activity, thanks to hyper-conductive stones and heat-sensitive ink. The three sculptural leather jackets are infused with dye formulas that change color in response to different stimuli: friction, the temperature and humidity of the room, and intense heat. In its own room is a fragile ceramic dress called Eighthsense, covered with hand-painted pixels that reflect brain activity detected by an accompanying EEG headset.
This was the public’s formal introduction to The Unseen, a trio of London fashion designers using chemistry, digital technology and exquisite tailoring to create fashion magic.
Recently, they’ve been in talks about exhibiting at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago and the newly reopened Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City, and they will be showcasing their work at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas this March. There are also ongoing discussions with the neurology team at King’s College London about a collaboration that would give The Unseen unprecedented access to state-of-the-art ink technologies.
But their next collection, which will likely be released next fall, is still somewhat of a mystery, even to them. Only one thing is certain: it won’t involve color change.
“I don’t want us to be a gimmick and then next year nobody’s talking about us. I’m adamant that we will be around in 50 years,” Bowker says. “I really want The Unseen to become an iconic brand known for pushing innovation and pushing materials in a magical way.”