Project History.

SoundWear was conceived by Simon Thorogood and Stephen Wolff as a speculative design tool, where fashion design is created or ‘suggested’ by music. The intention was to develop an approach or a system that could compliment, update or upset the traditional and conventional process of designing fashion? Could a paradoxical state of order and disorder, of chaos and cohesion be generated in which to make unexpected fashion discoveries?

The project is loosely based around a perception of synaesthesia, in which a sensation is experienced somewhere other than the part or place stimulated. In this case, music is used as the starting point of a fashion story or process where sounds are employed to generate line, shape, silhouette, colour, layering and texture.

SoundWear grew out of a previous Thorogood/Wolff collaboration called SoundForms, soundforms prototype, amplitude or loudness generated forms and colours in which the loudness or amplitude of a musical composition would determine the size, brightness and definition of prepared shapes, graphics and photographs that would be projected over a figure.

The Soundwear website extends this research by offering audiences an opportunity to play and interact with a system, which allows them to develop and implement ideas for fashion directly from a library of music or sounds. Users will be able to register and submit their designs or ‘compothes’ (composition + clothes) as Thorogood calls them, of which some will be made up into finished garments for display at a later date.

As well as an interactive website, Soundwear is also intended as a highly visual audience interactive installation which will draw on data and user interactions derived from previous website operation.

An installation version will similarly allow an audience to compose a garment through their manipulation of the system’s library and tools but it would also provide an opportunity for diverse audiences to experience and participate in a novel process of fashion design in a playful, egalitarian space.