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Fashion Made from Recycled Magnetic Tape

The London College of Fashion keeps putting out fashion super stars, the latest is designer Kai Yeung Yau. Yau's up-cycled fashions are daring works of art with geometric silhouettes, bold colors, and intricate detailing. Kai Yeung is among many designers embracing the recycling movement and using materials from abandoned technologies. (Source:inhabitat)

His thesis collection, named "A Woman Who Carried Three Generations," takes inspiration from the Hong-Kong housewives of the 60's and 70s. He loves the obvious and the kitch as you can see in his dress design, "RED A", created entirely out of plastic kitchenware, garden products, and housewares. See more in the video after the break:

One design, (seen below), was created by sewing old video tape found in second-hand shops. The magnetic video tape is used to visualize pitches and frequencies of music by varying the lengths of the pleating. From the looks of it, this is just a prototype and not actually a working garment that plays music. Take a closer look at the work in the video. 


Magnetic tape has resistive properties. In laymen terms it conducts electricity, and the power running through the tape varies depending on the length and size. A long piece of material has "high resistivity" and allows less energy to flow through it, creating a lower voltage reading. A shorter piece has "low resistivity" and allows more energy to pass through at a faster rate. With low resistivity, the material carries a higher voltage. However, just like in a tape player, the tape may go round and round on the play heads, but you can't hear the  music unless it is amplified. That means, If you want to actually hear the influence that different lengths have on the sound - you'll need the power of an amplifier. 

A great example of this concept in action is Alyce Santoro's Sonic Fabric. Alyce, who I call the god mama of magnetic tape clothing, made a garment for Jon Fishman of Phish that he played live on stage at a concert way back in 2003. Watch it here:

Sonic Dress by Alyce SantoroSonic Dress by Alyce Santoro