dinsdag 24 april 2012

Evelyn Lebis, wearable technology for performance art

1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. (Who are you, where do you come from and what is your field of specialization?) 
My name is Evelyn Lebis and I’m Dutch. At the age of 6 I started classical ballet and contemporary dance for the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels.
I obtained my BA in fashion at the Willem de Kooning Art Academy in Rotterdam. Throughout my education I explored textiles and yarn properties in collaboration with the Audax Textiles museum in Tilburg.
My Master’s course at the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras, Sweden opened up my knowledge towards wearable technology for performance art with a specialization in Light integrated Jaquard knits and textile sensors sourced through the human body. 

2. How did you get the idea to combine interaction and costume design? 
My process starts with drawing floral and organic symbols on plastic. Instead of translating this into a print for the body I wanted to make a project which represents my method. Therefore, in this project the space is my canvas, the interactive costumes are the paint and the dancers are the pencil whose movements have been designed according to engineered schematics. 

3. Who is your target group? Who do you design for?  
The human body.

 4. How does interactive costume design contrast ordinary costume design?  
The performance of the wearer is steered through the textiles properties; the intensity of the light of the dress is adjusted through the way the wearer moves her upper arm. To see the textiles structure on the corset the wearer needs to constantly touch a textiles sensor thus the interactive costume defines the performance whereas the regular costume design is used to enhance a performance.

5. What makes it special to you? 
I wanted to express how science and art need to collaborate for future possibilities. We live in a world with technology all around us thus it is inevitable that we will start wearing technology. I aimed to provide esthetical and technical options for wearable technology; as a designer it is my job to not limit myself with sportswear and futuristic looks. 

6. Could you see your work also walking down the runway as a fashion collection? 
Yes definitely, the costumes are appealing in the real and artificial world. Due to the custom made artisanal jacquards knits with beads and crystal embellishments the garments could be walking in a show for a selected group. 

7. Where did you get the inspiration from to come up with the theme of light in your work? (Scandinavia/ Sweden?) 
It is extremely dark in Sweden during the winter time; the artificial light makes daily life cozy. This and my love for surrealism have allowed me to take my own drawings to the next level. 

8. Do you see yourself more as a designer or an artist? 
I basically stepped into the creative process of an engineer and combined it with the creative process of a designer for performance art. 

9. How do you personally define „fashionclash“ or „ a clash with fashion“ for yourself? 
These days Fashion has become a medium to explore and open up culture through interdisciplinary collaboration which is a clash in itself. 

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