Fashion is so obsessed with daring new ideas that we thought we have seen it all, but not until we came across these clever and eye-catching designs from the Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show.
Designer Kristofers Reidzans is an intrepid explorer of the curious space between fashion and design. His Vice Versa collection focuses on interior accessories which can be used as garments, but not in the way the curtains are recycled into children's clothes a la The Sound of Music. Thus a ceiling-hung room divider can be transformed into a duvet-like over-vest, whilst a pretty wall tapestry lives a second life as a poncho-esque coat. Not sure Sister Maria would approve, but at least this saves on wardrobe space.
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At a time when we are bombarded with screaming headlines of gun crimes and terrorist attacks, it is easy to forget that the chances of being killed in these violent events is significantly lower than dying from, say, smoking. Designer Mies Loogman highlighted this paranoia by designing a suit aimed to protect us from extreme weather events, which kill far more people than terrorist attacks. The smart looking suit features an integrated life jacket, waders and other safety features - essential survival gear in the event of a flood or hurricane. This may be an overkill for everyday use but it certainly makes us rethink what "safety" really means.
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Nobody wears hats anymore, some may say. But what if hats can take on more functions than just warming your head? Designer Julian Lim set out to redefine the perception of hats by designing a collection of headgear that can be transformed into something else by pulling a few carefully placed zips. A bowler hat can thus be turned into shoulder pads, a floppy-brimmed hat into a mask, or a tall hat into a balaclava. There is even a wide-brimmed hat which morphs into a baseball cap, which is actually quite useful.
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Creating a distinctive silhouette in fashion is not easy, but this challenge is now slightly less difficult thanks to the latest creation from designer Jian Da Huang. Inspired by the human skeleton, Reframe is a series of bone-like fabric straps and fasteners which can be combined with other items of clothing to create some rather unconventional shapes and silhouettes. For the more practically minded this can also be used to breathe new life into baggy t-shirts, maternity dresses (after childbirth) and old Roman togas.Give the humble apron a bit of structure and transform it into an elegant dress with the Anna apron from Ugi.
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We have seen the likes of Zara and H&M speed up the fashion cycle and turn garments into almost disposable items. According to designer Juliette Delforge the answer is to create clothing which are so difficult to make and with such unusual designs that the wearer is more likely to hang on to them in the long term. The first product she tried this philosophy on is the humble pair of jeans, which she had remade in plastic and other unusual fabrics, with patterns made from specialist printing techniques and featuring plenty of embellishments. The results are rather attractive and very space-age, perfect for those who want to make a fashion statement.
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In our quest to find the most exotic leathers to quench our thirst for unusual handbags we have skinned a multitude of creatures from lizards and crocodiles to ostriches and eels. But what about cows' stomachs, which are largely wasted and mainly used as dog food? Designer Billie Van Katwijk is attracted by the unusual textures and patterns of cows' stomachs (all four of them) and set out to transform them into a unique range of leathers using a labour intensive tanning process. These were then turned into a series of handbags which are captivating to look at but perhaps hard to stomach for some.
See more: Billie Van Katwijk