German-born designer Moritz Waldemeyer teamed with English hatmaker Philip Treacy for his catwalk show at the Royal Courts of Justice for London Fashion Week 2012:

A delicate illuminated basket type sculpture extends down from the head to envelope the model’s entire body. ‘Philip presented us with an unusual challenge’ says Moritz ‘it was a visionary idea that was difficult to achieve using conventional techniques in millinery.’ 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. It typifies Waldemeyer’s innovative approach towards lighting design which has brought him international acclaim. When the lights shine directly out into the audience the structure itself becomes invisible – the model appears enshrouded in a floating cloak of light.

For Moritz Waldeyemer it’s the satisfying culmination of ongoing experiments to integrate lighting completely into his designs: ‘it has long been my aim for the technology to disappear, to dissolve it into the surface of the work, so that the light effects themselves become the focus.

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.

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