Curious Trends


Psychogeography in fashion

At Tent London this year, The Design Museum presented a retrospective exhibition of Kingston University’s world renowned alumni alongside a selection of work from 150 current arts based MA graduates. The influence of psychogeography as a theme was evident in the work of many of the designers – especially in the area of fashion, as shown here:

Laura Michaels used 3D scanning, parametric modelling and laser cutting to create her ‘Skin Graph’ dress. Her project, in collaboration with Karl Kjelstrup-Johnson, is an exploration of the bridge between fashion and architecture, though the body contouring involved in the exercise seems to owe more to geographical mapping techniques and the individuality of human topography.

Laura aims to question contemporary fashion design through this new system - a digital representation of the body, allowing each individual to define the form of their own, unique bespoke garment
Firstly, Laura uses light to trace the body’s landscape, defining the line and form of each person according to its own distinctive pattern, as projected in greyscale topography. Then, through the use of Parametric modelling, a topography displacement map is read, body contour lines created and the skin relief then laser cut to form the ‘second skin’ or Skin Graph dress.

Laura explains that “Like skin the essence of time is recorded, a second skin is generated as a representation of oneself. Both the physical and the emotional factors of their personality are inscribed into material. Through this process, Skin Graph allows the individual to take control in creating their bespoke contour pattern, through articulation and expression of their desired body movements.”


“As body movement is articulated through space and time, the body becomes a landscape in which each contour defines the extension of our physicality, a presence extending beyond the depth of our immediate skin; the second skin can displace and resonate a mapping of memory and potentiality.”

Maja Polakova created this crocheted body suit as part of her ‘made in CzechoSlovakia’ project. This is a study of culture, childhood, feelings, relationships and religion in time and place: A crocheted web of the psychogeographical experience of this highly creative young designer.

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