Turkish design duo creates a dress that literally flies in the face of any fashion you’ve seen before.
Armed with glue guns in a brightly lit studio in Istanbul, two sisters wrestle with a mound of blue feathers. Before them, a headless mannequin wears a sleek silver dress, adorned with feathers and dozens of blue fabric butterflies. The feathers are falling off, and the women carefully glue them on while fastidiously winding up the butterflies, preparing them for flight.
It seems a rudimentary scene for designers of haute couture, and it’s easy to imagine these sisters as little girls deconstructing a feather boa while playing dress-up. Despite the creative chaos taking place, this Butterfly Dress is a well-orchestrated design that could change the way people approach fashion.
“It’s an intelligent dress,” said Ezra Çetin, who along with sister Tuba Çetin lead design label “ezratuba”. The dress, made from a luxury jacquard interwoven with metallic Lurex fibers, is adorned with about forty butterflies. The dress is embedded with a proximity sensor that allows the butterflies to react to external stimuli.
“It is able to detect the presence of an approaching person,” Ezra explained.
At first the butterflies flap slowly, then more fervently whenever a person approaches. Finally, the butterflies can release en masse in a dramatic launch triggered either by the approaching person or via a mobile device communicating with the dress over a wireless network.
“We love to play with fabrics, designs, colors, movement and aesthetics, but the future of clothing as we know it is about to change,” said Tuba. “To be part of this change we need technology.”