When Audi launched its new A4 at the Audi City Berlin show, it did things a little differently. Crucially, it sought the help of fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht.
Wipprecht is best known for amazing dress designs that blend together the worlds of high fashion and high tech. You might have seen her work before. She has already worked with Intel to produce the Spider Dress, a 3D-printed outfit that incorporates intelligent spider limbs that react when someone invades the wearer’s personal space.
Two months before Audi City Berlin opened its doors, Anouk received a phone call from the German car manufacturer asking if she could help with the official launch of the new Audi A4.
Her brief was to design four high-tech dresses that would embody the unique design elements of the car as well as its unique connection to the driver — and all this during an impressive show designed to amaze the public.
Anouk wasted no time getting to work. She spent a great deal of time with the designers of the Audi A4. Not just to understand what had inspired them but to grasp how the various elements had come together in one unique and successful design.
The new A4 boasts the latest automotive technology, such as the virtual cockpit. What’s more, the diamond-shaped lines of the car’s nose give it a tougher look. These two elements were the starting point for Anouk’s clothing designs.
The Projection Map Dress, as her creation was ultimately known, is a spectacular 3D-printed dress with diamond-shaped elements, which unleashes a blinding light show. Or that’s what it looks like.
In reality, light is emitted by extremely precise laser projectors, not the dress itself. These projectors tailor the light show to the diamond-shaped panels of the dress, projecting spectacular shapes onto it. See for yourself in the video below.
“I think the Projection Map Dress has a little more nerd credit,” Anouk explains. “The dress can change and adapt itself, and it almost seems alive because the light plays with the surface.”
In order to create the illusion of a light source, it is crucial that the dresses themselves were designed and created very accurately. This is highly precise work, because even the slightest deviation will shatter the illusion.
It’s why Anouk used a tablet with an integrated Intel RealSense 3D camera. Using it, the fashion designer was able to carry out speedy and highly accurate 3D scans of a model’s body shape. These scans were then used to print out the dresses, a process that took three days per dress.
“Designers have lots of cool tools at the moment with new hardware and software. These tools accelerate and broaden not only the process, but our designs as well,” says the fashion tech designer.
“Scanning modules like the Intel RealSense 3D camera make all the difference in the design process. I work so much faster than I can using 2D or analog methods such as old-fashioned measuring with a tape measure. Now I work faster and better. I think this is important because it gives me more space to play and experiment with design.”
With the Projection Map Dress, fashion tech designer Anouk Wipprecht again shows how advanced technology and avant-garde fashion can unite to create an impressive and intelligent design.
Each of Wipprecht’s designs pushes the boundaries of what is conceptually possible. They offer a glimpse into the future — a future where technology not only offers conceptual added value, but also plays a functional role. As a result, fashion is becoming more individual and expressive.