In 2009, a trio of Philadelphia student designers showed off the perfect apparel for our uncertain times. Asked to fabricate solutions for a hypothetical post-disaster scenario, Jin Hong, Sebastian Brauer, and Jackie Starker conceivred of the “Wearable Shelter” collection, a line of waterproof coats that transform into sleeping bags or two-person tents in the event of an emergency.
ADIDAS BY TOM DIXON
London designer Tom Dixon collaborated with Adidas on a capsule collection of travel essentials designed to serve as a “complete wardrobe for every possible occasion.” Among the utilitarian yet adaptive garments? A padded parka that transforms into a sleeping bag.
Who says you can’t take it with you? “Portable Home,” a wearable-shelter concept by three Middlesex University students in London, is part wacky ensemble, part escape strategy. Franziska Lusser, Hanna Nielsen, and Luca Romanyi, who hail from Germany, Sweden, and Hungary, respectively, designed Portable Home as a response to their nomadic existence. In addition to a skirt that turns into a tent (complete with a window view), the outfit also includes a bag that unfolds into a shelf for displaying books and other mementos.
A period of economic crisis in the late 1980s spurred British designer Lucy Orta to develop “Refuge Wear,” a line of portable, autonomous habitats that offer mobility, protection, and meditation for itinerant populations. One version even allowed four or more individuals to combine their garments into a multi-person tent.
Justin Gargasz describes the “Vessel” as a self-contained “physical as well as psychological escape.” A master of disguise, the medium-weight reversible jacket expands into a full-body cocoon, complete with an inch-wide strip of mesh for peering out of. For easy transport, it also collapses to form a totable sling bag.