Ninela Ivanova Turns Petri-Dish Mold Into Thought-Provoking Haute Couture

by , 11/21/11   filed under: Featured, Women's Eco-Fashion

Ninela Ivanova, Kingston University, fungi, mold, living fashion, living clothing, bizarre eco-fashion, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style


Ivanova’s “Moulded Minds” collection is a far cry from your typical science-fair entry, however. Inspired by Dmitry Vassilev’s 2009 documentary about humans and fungi, the garments question our notions of beauty and decay. “Mold is extraordinary,” Ivanova tells Ecouterre. “It thrives when nothing else can grow. It prospered in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster and even grows on the outside of spaceships.”

People and fungi are more similar than not, observes Ivanova. We both breath in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide, for instance, and we require sustenance in order to survive. But although mold is nature’s original recycling system, humans are far less reciprocal.

“If your garment is living and transforming, will you still need to buy the season’s must haves?” Ivanova asks.

To create her pieces, Ivanova grows the mold in petri dishes before transposing the patterns onto silicone-coated chiffons and silks. The provocative result is a bustier, gown, and vest that look and feel like a mottled second skin. Three of her looks even incorporate growing mold enclosed within a pair of PVC shoulder pads.

But more than being provocative, Ivanova wants to foster a discussion about our relationship with what we wear. “I want to make a change as a designer and a human, and I believe we all need to be working towards a better future for our planet,” Ivanova says. “If your garment is living and transforming, will you still need to buy the season’s must-haves?”

+ Moulded Minds

+ Ninela Ivanova

[Via Fashioning Technology]

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