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Alumna stories: Materials Alchemist Lauren Bowker

7 November 2015 by TexSelect in Alumni Stories, Fashion, Home, Interiors & Auto

As ever Texprint 2011 alumna and materials alchemist Lauren Bowker is creating a stir.  In recent weeks Lauren’s latest work has featured in Vogue, Wired, Dezeen, Creative Review, the Evening Standard and Daily Mail among others.

We asked Lauren what the term 'materials innovation' means to her, and why it is important in so many of our life encounters?  Her response: “Materials in my view are a platform to communicate visually between both human and their environment. Materials are everywhere; I believe innovation is coming up with a clever and applicable way of harnessing the dormant materials, giving them further purpose.”

Lauren Bowker (right) and team. Image: creativeconomy.britishcouncil.org

Sarah Mower in Vogue.com calls Lauren ‘London’s First Fashion-Channeling Witch’ and goes on to write: This week I met a witch—a fashion-channeling witch—who proceeded to blow my mind. Lauren Bowker lives and works in London, formerly in the cavernous Georgian cellars of Somerset House and now in new labs, where she devotes her life to creating formulae capable of transmitting what she describes as, “Everything in the atmosphere we just can’t see, as humans.” Bowker tells me she grew up “Interested in the invisible—in ghosts and X-rays, and trying to work out how to manipulate nature.” She may look like a latter-day Batcave goth, but, as I found out, the truly spooky thing about this former textile-design graduate, who permanently dresses in mourning (more of that in a minute), is the supernatural size of her intelligence. To read full article CLICK HERE

Lauren’s umbrella brand The Unseen uses chemistry to create reactive fashion and accessories that alter in response to environmental change.  This autumn sees the launch of its debut limited edition accessories line AIR in Selfridges, “The accessory collection derived naturally from our wearable Air sculptures that we made last year,” Lauren told Dezeen in a recent interview. To read full article CLICK HERE

The Unseen's AIR accessories line in Selfridges

Rosamund Urwin writes in the Evening Standard: If you were a child of the Nineties you probably remember colour-changing T-shirts and rings. I had both: a hand-me-down T-shirt from my sister that repeated washing meant no longer turned from Fanta orange to white in the sun but stayed a sad shade of sludge whatever the weather, and a tortoise ring that I broke by running under far too hot a tap. Lauren Bowker, the 30-year-old creator of the company The Unseen, describes her new designs as like those rings “but on acid”. For, two decades later, chameleon clothing has gone haute: The Unseen’s debut accessories collection launches at Selfridges. Infused with a special ink, it features a winged leather jacket that changes shade to reflect aerodynamic patterns created by the wearer’s movement (a technicolour dreamcoat for 2015), a rucksack whose colours reflect air pressure, temperature and light (indoors it almost always appears black but it turns green and red outdoors), and a phone case that changes colour as you touch it and with temperature changes. Prices start at £35 and go all the way up to £1,750.  To read full article CLICK HERE

The Unseen's AIR accessories line in Selfridges

Rachael Steven in Creative Review writes: The new collection for Selfridges includes a heat reactive scarf that responds differently to different sections of the body, a wallet and phone case covered in touch-sensitive formulas that respond to wearer’s circulation, and a leather backpack that changes colour in response to heat, light, shade and changes in air pressure. “The scarf has five formulas hand-painted within each devoréd section – we observed how different sections of the body react to specific material and coded each formula to respond to areas like the neck and head, causing deeper colours to flourish around the face then around the body,” explains Bowker. “This gives the user a sense of movement as they wrap the scarf around them in different positions.”  To read full article CLICK HERE

The Astrolounge at Selfridges, featuring items from The Unseen’s AIR collection. Image ©Matt Writtle, courtesy of Selfridges

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