High Waisted Knit Jersey Womens Pant, jogger. If the human body is seen as a spatial form, the skin represents the demarcation line between the inside and the outside. Clothing then becomes an extension of this corporal space boundary and the interface between a person’s corporal space
and the external space of the environment.
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Fashion is a self-referential system focused on self-organisation and the cyclic auto-reproduction of systemic elements. Since they always refer to themselves alone, in endless recurrence, they are necessarily closed on the level of their inner control structure. Thus the core area of fashion exists independent of environmental influences; it exists ‘as itself’.
Man’s system of altering the appearance of his external body (body design) is timeless and global; only the forms change. The global power of fashion and its self-referential system (its autopoiesis) is expressed in precisely this ‘ruthlessness’ towards independent cultural features and social conventions.
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Clothing is regarded as form, fashion as the medium. Since the form of clothing represents the foundation for the medium of fashion, fashion is form and medium. Whatever we see, it is form; the medium cannot be seen or rather the medium becomes visible only as the form of clothing. This means that we see only the clothing, not the fashion.
Another constant topic of experiment is clothing without seams, and a particular textile-technical or chemical challenge is presented by the production of extremely flexible materials like the spandex bodystockings of the 1980s. Bras moulded by warmth and pressure have existed since fashion designer Rudi Gernreich suggested the one-size bra or ‘no-bra’ bra.
In 1968, Pierre Cardin embellished dresses using convexly moulded mini cuboids. Gianni Versace caused a sensation in 1984 with his evening dresses made of light aluminium metal-mesh, which was cut and soldered using lasers. In addition to these, there are many experimental processes of pleating, felting and matting, machine and hand knitting, and crocheting.
The key phrase ‘second skin’ embodies a vision for the future in which a synthetic material similar to human skin is integrated into the skin, repairing itself and growing back, and producing colours or logos on the skin itself according to how the material has been processed. Today, some new types of material already react to light, heat, touch and mechanical strain. Flexible membranes can be digitally networked, folded, stretched and inflated with air to create a second skin in place of textile clothing.
The first aspect of the Skinthetic proposal trades on the idea of branding once removed. Given that in the next twenty years as implant and explant technology becomes more sophisticated and branding more intertwined into our commodity driven culture, labels and bodies will become one.
Where in 2000 we as consumers put labels on our bodies through the act of clothing by 2020 we will be implanting designed body parts that are not only genetically coded but also will bear the signs and identities of the couture and product house that have created them.