“A red carpet outfit on Mars.” In a nutshell, this is how design duo – fashion designer, Lana Dumitru, and architect, Vlad Tenu – describe this Swarovski dress called FORÆVA. In truth, it is a feat which has combined the folk pattern on an age-old Romanian rug after it was digitally reconstructed through 3D computer simulations and bespoke algorithmic design methods with over 25,000 neon-bright and colorful crystals. In other words… wow!
The jaw-dropping dress is the showpiece of their FORÆVA commercial collection (the collection is to be released in 2018) and represents what this unique, multidisciplinary design lab preaches: that identity and traditions not be lost on the path of inter-globalization, but will instead evolve in unexpected ways, shaped by technology and emotions. It proves that handcrafts will still exist, but they’ll just be tailored to suit and benefit from new technologies. After all, it took fifteen people nearly six months to assemble the dress!
In the accompanying video, the dress is being worn by Romanian model Andra Mirona Axentoi – they call her “Æva” – who is seen walking through a gray, cavernous space (possibly a cave in Mars?). The crystals on her dress shimmer as she walks, playing with the low light and magnifying it so such a degree that they “let off” beads of glimmer that billow behind and above her like an effervescent (and colorful) twinkling cloud.
What’s interesting is that, the multiple layers of the dress play with each other, each fold revealing yet another “plane” through which the traditional patterns of the Romanian rug inspiration are revived and enlivened. The color scheme of the crystals – which, coincidentally, also act as structural elements – doesn’t follow tradition, but is also updated to include bright yellows, punchy pinks, neon oranges and electric blues. It’s almost as if each crystal’s color has a story to tell and, as they all merge into the pattern, this story becomes elaborated and enriched.