Symposium NM07: Nanoscale Magnetic Structures and Materials
MRS Publications Reception

If I Were a Fashion Designer...

From the moment the first model strutted her stuff down the catwalk in the Phoenix Convention Center's Exhibit Hall, it was clear that today's fashion show had spawned a shift in the energy of the conference. That vibe felt like a fresh flavor one might not expect at a science convention. In fact, the fashion show very well may be the only programming in this conference that actually illustrates the conversion of art and science, the technical with the creative, the analytical with the esoteric, the black with the white.  

The imaginative fashions ranged from elegant, floor-sweeping evening gowns made of intricately designed textiles to futuristic, 3-dimensional outfits semi-reminiscent of The Jetsons space cartoon. Designers teased the audience not only with their one-of-a-kind creations but with their exploration of color that commanded every hue of the rainbow's color palette.  

In addition to the materials science interplay, several of the outfits paid homage to sustainability. For example, one model proudly paraded before the crowd in a "bubble" dress made from recycled plastics.  

Seeing fashion created in such a resourceful way made me contemplate what materials I might repurpose to design my own futuristic garb—had I the talent. 

Would I craft an eye-catching handbag from a flat tire and accent it with a shoulder strap derived from a shorted out extension cord? Or weave a fibrous belt from rattlesnake skin sheddings, stained a bright, translucent red from beet juice? Perhaps I could harvest thorns from a cactus that bit the dust to create a decorative hair comb to accessorize an everyday look? And not to worry, my dear Phoenicians: I know better than to disturb your beautiful Saguaro cacti (Trust me: I love them just as much as you do!). 

Clearly, I am drawing inspiration from my current surroundings. 

And while I'd like to believe I have a creative mind as a writer, the degree of forward-thinking these talented fashion designers illustrated through their work today was definitely awe-inspiring, to say the least.  

My initial futuristic thoughts may seem somewhat outlandish on paper, but whether I try my hand at designing clothes or continue nourishing my creative spirit through writing, this show has inspired me to explore the inconceivable—just because I can. 







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