Diana Eng first came into the fashion world thanks to Project Runway Season 2 which aired in December of 2005. She was given her Auf Wiedersehen in the 6th episode. Since then however she has been making waves in the fashion circles as well as the geek circles. Afterwards she worked as assistant designer before changing gears to Victoria Secret research department (Yes girls she is the one you should thank for those Beauty Secrets bust firming bra and Memory Fit). Since then Diana has been working on creating fashion with a technology twist.
She is one of the founding New York Resistor a hacker collective. I found about them while doing my research and they have now been added to my RSS reader. They have really cool projects and information. If you live in New York City or its whereabouts I sincerely recommend you look into their public meetings and if you like joining them.
In 2009 she published her book Fashion Geek: Clothes, Accessories, Tech. The description says it all, “In Fashion Geek, Diana pioneers an emerging generation of tech savvy women crafters (or would-be crafters) who demand stylish yet practical designs that are chemically charged.” I have already added it for my birthday present list. For people like me who like making their own clothes and want to tinker with LED lights and conductor thread this is the book to get your foot wet.
In October 2009 she was given a residency with Eyebeam. With them she created Fairytale Fashion. An interactive experience that lasted from October 2009 to Febuary 2010. Using technological concepts and the input of the public she created a colection of garments that lit up, implode, inflate, and much more. You can watch the video of the final show in her website, along with several pictures of the garments. I would wear every single one of these dresses. They are fashion forward and show what you can do with the technology available now a days. Can you imagine what we could do in a few years as things get smaller and more efficient?
Her next project the Smart Scarf Mini Collection, from February of 2011, is pretty self explanatory. Yet there is so much thought given to each and every scarf it is truly outstanding. The Jack Frost scarf shows patterns of snowflakes when it gets cold. The colder it gets the more snowflakes and the darker they become. The Miura Ori scarf is a wool cashmere scarf that uses the Miura Ori biometric structure to be compact when folded but open up it expands to become a full, rich and warm scarf. It uses the same technology that is uses in satellite solar panels where you need to pack a big structure into a very small place for transportation. My favourite, mainly because I can’t wait to try it my self, is the Fibonacci scarf. The Fibonacci patter can be found in nature all around you, from a pine cone to a sunflower. It is actually a simple pattern made by adding the two number previous to it. So 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34… so on and so forth. If you enjoy knitting you will know that knitting is all about patterns and counting. This particular scarf was done with a 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 21 pattern each time the appropriate number of stitches was added.
Diana Eng’s latest endeavour are the Lacer Lace Tee and Tops mini Collection. These are normal cotton tees and tops that we all love and live for, with an awesome twist. Using inspiration from nature, specifically the cross sections of flowers and botanical cells she created patterns. Using a laser cuter to cut the patterns into tees and even chiffon she managed to make shirts completely beautiful. These shirts like the flowers they were inspired in will change organically and distort with use. The use of cell patterns was chosen after much research. It seams that the distress didn’t work as well with any random pattern. This is a very original and interesting way to create something beautiful and even elegant from an article of clothing so every day like a t-shirt.
I love Diana Eng. I think she is fresh, new and so geeky. The things she has done so far are absolutely incredible and make me want to try my hand at most. I actually tried a low tech version of the Lacer Lace Tee and I have to say I am actually very happy with the results. I made a How-To of it so if you are interested in the look you can try your hand at it as well. If you are not so hands on… do not worry. All the t-shirts and scarfs are on sale at http://www.dianaeng.com/shop/ as is her book.