Moving & Breathing ‘Can’t’ and ‘Won’t’ Dresses

Imagine adorning a dress that breathes. Sounds impossible I know, but fashion designer Ying Gao has created two dresses named ‘Can’t’ and ‘Won’t’.

Exploring the aesthetic of false neutrality, fashion designer and university professor Ying Gao, has achieved personal distinction through numerous creative projects. Her latest project, the ‘Can’t’ and ‘Won’t’ dresses, impressively and subtly brag robotic movement and facial recognition. Gao, who appreciates sensory technologies that allow garments to become more playful and interactive, created the dresses using high tech super organza, cotton mesh, PVDF and electronic devices.

Photo by Dominique Lafond. Images courtesy of the artist
Photo by Dominique Lafond. Images courtesy of the artist

So who is Ying Gao? She is a designer who questions our assumptions about clothing by combining urban design, architecture and media design. She explores the construction of the garment, taking her inspiration from the transformations of the social and urban environment. Design is the medium, situated in the technological rather than in the textile realm. Gao explores both the status of the individual, whose physical contours are transformed by external interferences, and the garment’s function as a fragile protective space.

Creatively described as a “living system” and “reminiscent of microbial life” by Gao, the dresses explore the effects of emotional expression, what life looks like and how ecosystems are affected by our behaviour.

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