Philip Treacy’s catwalk show at the Royal Courts of Justice marks the master hat designer’s return to London after 12 years in the most hotly anticipated event of London Fashion Week 2012. The show, sponsored by Swarovski, includes a specially chosen selection of Treacy masterpieces and a collection of original Michael Jackson stage outfits designed by Michael Bush and Dennis Tompkins. An eye-catching and technologically advanced piece is a new design by Moritz Waldemeyer.
A delicate illuminated basket type sculpture extends down from the head to envelope the model’s entire body. Studio Waldemeyer’s solution was to weave an intricate mesh of threads around a specially designed styrofoam core. The threads are soaked in resin, which when dry are rigid allowing the design to be complex, but also very light.
The result is an object that looks impossible – especially when you think that is supported by the head alone. 6000 LED lights integrated into the webbed surface programmed with animated sequences enhance the illusion of weightlessness. When the lights shine directly out into the audience the structure itself becomes invisible – the model appears enshrouded in a floating cloak of light.
Moritz again drew on the idea of weightlessness when asked to design his own piece for the show. This time a continuous band of light sweeps around the head with no apparent physical connection to the wearer at all. This uncanny effect is achieved courtesy of a carefully positioned propeller headpiece – each blade is finished at the end with LED lights. When in full motion the blades themselves disappear leaving only an ethereal halo of light. It’s millinery for the 21st Century.