Geaney’s Photobacterium Kishitanni, An Exploration of Non-Traditional Materials

We take time to explore Geaney's living light dress made of Photobacterium Kishitanni

Recently we were introduced to Victoria Geaney. A creative who classifies herself as a conceptual designer, Victoria explores the intersections of Fashion, Art, Science and Technology, and values the concept and narrative of her work above all else.

Geaney's Photobacterium Kishitanni, An Exploration of Non-Traditional Materials
Victoria Geany’s Landmark exhibition

Producing multidisciplinary work with an environmental pulse, Victoria’s passion for design stems from her love of art and for creating things. She is inspired by artists such as Francis Bacon and Louise Bourgeois, and finds inspiration in visits to art galleries and Science Museums. Victoria has also admitted to being inspired by writers such as Sylvia Plath and Oscar Wilde and designers as diverse as Yohji Yamamoto, Simone Rocha, Iris Van Herpen and Nancy Tilbury at Studio XO.

“The work I produce may not always be wearable or even possible, but the idea and innovation is what I find interesting.”

What brought Victoria to our attention was her attitude to her work. She is from the school of thought that believes that the overall idea of the work is of more important than the final outcome.  On this Victoria told Nouvelle Mode, “The work I produce may not always be wearable or even possible, but the idea and innovation is what I find interesting and is what I am passionate about.”

Geaney's Photobacterium Kishitanni, An Exploration of Non-Traditional Materials
Biomaterial fashioned from little more than sunlight and air with conceptual women’s wear designer Victoria Geaney and Simon Park

Since graduating from the University for the Creative Arts, Epsom, Victoria has worked on many interesting projects. The one that wowed us was the one she worked on in tandem with a research Synthetic Biologist at Imperial College.  Although purely conceptual, the collection of 2-D print design work explored the idea of fluorescent bacteria and its theoretical application on garments as a biological, glowing print. Aware that there are laws that disallow bacteria to be used in this way, Victoria admitted that “fabric that could be living and emitting light is very interesting!”

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Other work besides the fluorescent bacteria collection include her production of a slow fashion, eco-friendly range of printed Womenswear garments for retail and a wearable technology collection based on the theme of Neo-Dark Romanticism.

Victoria Geaney at work
Victoria Geaney at work

More recently Victoria together with three other research students Wayne Binitie, Flora Bowden and Trent Kim Future, presented an interdisciplinary exhibition that takes inspiration from nature using non-traditional materials. Attending visitors were given the opportunity to be wowed by the project I mentioned earlier. Called Azzazel, the exhibition showed a collection of bacterial cellulose sculptures that included a dress made from Kishitanni, a photobacterium that is found deep in the ocean and glows a blue colour when alive.n it is alive.

Featured in magazines such as Nylon and U+Mag, Victoria, who has sold designs on ASOS, shown work at Milan Fashion Week, the Victoria and Albert Museum and London’s O2, has brought to our attention a statement dress crawling with billions of bacteria. With the aim to research the application of bioluminescent bacteria to fabrics, we cannot wait to see for ourselves what the collaboration between the designer and Cambridge University academics Anton Kan and Bernardo Pollak has created. Until then we look forward to seeing what other talents emerge from RCA.

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