ying gao`s new pulsating robotic garments simulate the effects of virtual clothing

Designboom_ Montreal-based fashion designer Ying Gao returns with new robotic garments, this time looking to the world of NFTs and the metaverse for inspiration. Seemingly pulsating and twisting like floral beings, her latest attires combine glass, precious metals, and silicone into a polymorphic material that simulates the effects of virtual clothing. As for the project title, ‘2 5 2 6’, Gao notes: ‘[it] refers to the number of hours invested in the creation of the two polymorphic garments, from ideation to the finish, from the first line of drawing to the last stitch.’

While the twisting and undulating motions were simulated to perfection by robotics specialist Simon Laroche, both outfits of the ‘2 5 2 6’ collection were physically crafted by Ying Gao. ‘Woven, hand-screened and consolidated materials have been specially designed to create these clothes,’ explains the fashion designer. The short film above illustrates that physical-digital fusion, framing two models sporting the garments while they slowly come to life. Furthermore, as the film progresses, close-up shots of the polymorphic material reveal a texture appearing as delicate as flower petals and engaging in a choreography of volume, transparency, and reflectivity.

Concluding her thoughts on ‘2 5 2 6’, Ying Gao writes: ‘If the role of the fashion designer is to imbue a form and a function to materials intended to dress the body, we can wonder about the question of the immaterial garment and the virtual body, devoid of substance, and their level of reality, when the digital has become a real ‘second nature.’ As our jaunts into the metaverse become more frequent and less surprising, digital fashion inevitably unfolds into an infinity of possibilities and uncertainties.’