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Designer Ying Gao Creates Robotic Clothing That Reacts To The Chromatic Spectrum


In creating the garments, Gao has taken inspiration from the stories of the neurologist Oliver Sacks’s patients. In particular, that of a middle-aged man who, in a traumatized state, believed himself to be nineteen years old. On seeing his reflection in a mirror, the patient would revert to his middle-aged self, only to return to the previous state upon looking away. Oscillating between two existences, the patient was in a permanent state of flux. In her garments, Gao harnesses this perpetual shifting of identity—as with Sacks’s patient, they react to what they are exposed to. Formed of silicone, glass, organza, and electronic devices, they are capable of adjusting their shape in reaction to the chromatic spectrum, taking on a liquid, chameleon-like form as they respond to their environment. Whilst they may appear at first to be garments of the future, Gao does not think of them as futuristic articles, but rather a reflection of the immediate present. In their continued state of flux, the garments mimic the ever-changing nature of the world, along with its uncertainties.



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