How to Make High Fashion From Bacterial Slime

By Joseph Calamia | July 13, 2010 1:10 pm

biocoutureIt’s not Prada, Gucci, or Dolce & Gabbana. That head-turning jacket is a bacteria cellulose original. Bio-Couture clothing transforms a hardening ooze–yanked from tubs of yeast, bacteria, and green tea–into high fashion.

It may sound a bit like a Project Runway challenge, but according to the Bio-Couture website, the microbe-made clothes are meant as a sustainability project. The bacteria forms a congealing fiber (video), which designers can roll into thin sheets to make the base of each garment. As reported by ecouterre, where we found this story, overlaying pieces of the sheets as they dry will “felt” them together into a fashionable whole, without the need for stitching. Examples of the Bio-Couture’s latest pieces are currently on display as part of a nine-month exhibit called “TrashFashion” at London’s Science Museum.

Suzanne Lee and her design team at the School of Fashion & Textiles at Central Saint Martins in London hope to make even more complicated pieces using this technique–as perhaps evidenced by pictures on the project’s website of mannequins submerged in bacterial slime.

“Our ultimate goal is to literally grow a dress in a vat of liquid…”

Fancy color accoutrements come from dyes made of foodstuffs like port wine, curry powder, cherries, and beetroot. And the whole garment is compostable once passé–eliminating any evidence of past fashion faux pas.

Related content:
Discoblog: Fashion Grows an Eco-Conscience: Waterless Dye Debuts at Fashion Week
Discoblog: New Jewelry Could Help Diabetics, Eliminate Syringes
Discoblog: For Guilt-Free Fur, Wear a Coat Made From an Invasive Water Rat
Discoblog: Robot Model Struts the Catwalk in Japan
Discoblog: Swine Flu Fashion? Japan Introduces Swine Flu-Proof Suit

Image: Bio-Couture


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