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How To Dress For The End Of The World

Just in time for NYFW, Climate Change Couture helps you fight the apocalypse in style.
February 3, 2014, 6:56pm

The Bubble: Your Cocoon from the Elements.

“I came to Singapore to imagine the apocalypse,” says Catherine Sarah Young, the creator of Climate Change Couture. From the Philippines, Young is no stranger to the destructive forces of nature (Typhoon Haiyan hit just two days before the presentation of her showcase), and envisions a future where people protect themselves against the elements in style.

Young, who graduated from SVA with an MFA in Interaction Design, is currently on a residency at Tembusu College, National University of Singapore. Recently the artist explained how ideas structuring the project were crowdsourced through the college’s community: “Initially, I held drawing workshops…asking questions such as ‘What superpowers would you like to have to navigate through a climate change apocalypse?’ or ‘What would you like to wear to your apocalypse?’" says Young. "I realized that the question on clothes was the one that participants related to the most—they found it fun, engaging, and could better imagine designing clothing that they themselves can wear, as opposed to more abstract questions.”

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The project fuses science, performance art, narrative fiction, and fashion design into a collection that currently includes five conceptual garments. Most of her models are scientists at the university, and all are engaged with the topics the project is based on some level.

Scenario: "These days, no one leaves any establishment without wearing The Bubble, a climate controlled personal chamber that assures that climate change will not affect your daily lifestyle. While pumping you with cool filtered oxygen, The Bubble also comes with wireless communications to call your girlfriend and say that you are on your way, sensor capabilities that perceive the conditions of the environment around you, and wifi so you can check your Twitter feed while waiting."

The Trash Dress, Sartorial Chic from Scrap.

"In the future, one will peel open a candy bar and then save the wrapper for a dress. Real fabric has become extremely expensive, and it has become normal for both rich and poor people to use reclaimed materials for clothing. Whether you’re going shopping, to the park, or to a wedding, plastic that once wrapped chocolate can clothe you."

"…the city has learned from the past, and has permanently strapped down down all property and trees to the ground with industrial strength rope and then crossed its fingers. In this future, flooding is such a normal occurrence that residents have gotten used to having to dog paddle their way on the streets. As such, everything they wear has an inflatability option. When the floods come, they simply blow up their suits, with the Aquatutu here as an example, and carry on."

The Apocalypse Evacuation Suit, Your Aromatherapeutic Ensemble for Disaster Preparedness.

"Earthquake. The sirens begin to ring, and once more, members of the Climate Change Rescue Squad rush to a nearby coastal area where a tsunami is supposed to hit within the next few hours. They calmly go past the panicked masses running for their lives to higher land with as many possessions as they could carry. Inside the village, the remaining people stumbling against the rubble were the elderly, the disabled, and the small children. To reduce their anxiety and make them more alert to the impending disaster, the rescue team distributes their spare Smell Masks, which filter the oxygen around them while giving them scented air to breathe. The oxygen is scented with lemon, lavender, or peppermint, depending on the victim’s needs."

The Thermoreflector, Your Protective Heat Shield for Urban Exploration.

"The destination isn’t very far; it’s just on the other end of the street. And so the boss said not to take the motorbike. You step into the soft hot pavement, carefully making sure the contents of the box do not move around so much. But the street is an obstacle course. You see the air conditioning units sticking out of the apartments, each block of plastic hot enough to defrost a steak, and mentally you have a vision of darts coming out of them and targeting you like little snipers. Your dress reduces your discomfort; the sleeves protect your face and the fabric reflects the heat so that you won’t get roasted at the end of your journey. You finish the trip as quick as you can, and finally, you ring the doorbell. You deliver the pizza and leave. Man, you deserve a tip bigger than that."

All images are courtesy the artist and can be found at the Climate Change Couture site, as well as The Perceptionalist.