Science Fashion

Posted on Jul 22, 2013 | 2 Comments
Science Fashion
DNA dress by Shenova

DNA dress by Shenova

I am a big fan of just about anything that brings together science and art. Case in point: fashion inspired by science.

Even if we do not intend to be, we are walking billboards and what we choose to wear is an expression of our interests and dispositions. You can express your love of boisterous color, or intelligent black; your alignment with the latest trends, or your conscious disregard of them…OR you can express your undying love of science and the natural world! Though some may say fashion is “frivolous”, I think it is a great way to get an idea, like science, in front of the eyes of more people. So start sporting your galaxy tees and neuron earrings! You gotta wear something.

Here are two of my favorite designers right now:

SHENOVA by Holly Renee, a San Francisco Bay Area studio, uses science imagery to design custom-printed fabrics which is then tailored to super chic styles.

Holly started her fashion quest using space imagery from NASA to create beautiful pieces. You can see one of her latest collections using imagery from the Curiosity rover featured recently in Vogue UK. Her collections now branch into biology and eastern medicine and I am sure will continue to expand. She really has a knack for designing patterns that are beautiful in and of themselves as well and being very figure-flattering, and there is a great sense of play and wonderment that pervades her imagery.

Neuron dress

Erica and Holly wearing neurons

My big claim to fame is that her first biology piece was a custom neuron dress that she made for me last year. You can see us sporting semi-matching versions below. Note to self: work on modeling pose. Which brings me to:

DISCLAIMER: Holly is a friend of mine. But I think her work speaks for itself.

I am (selfishly) happy she now has more biology-inspired gear, including the DNA dress above and brain wave leggings which I just HAD to buy. I am looking forward to the day when I can replace my whole wardrobe with her clothes.

NERVOUS SYSTEM jewelry by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg uses their architecture, biology, mathematics, and computer science backgrounds to make stunning 3D-printed and laser cut pieces.

Hyphae Ring by Nervous System

When I first saw their site I immediately sent an email out to my husband and family letting them know that if they were EVER at a loss for ideas on what to get me for my birthday or Christmas that they could always get me something from Nervous (Note to gift-buying friends and family: this still holds!).

Jessica and Jesse create computer models of dynamic processes and patterns found in nature and then use these to generate designs for jewelry, light fixtures, and other art. You can even use their interactive applet to create your own designs by playing with some of the models that they have. Super cool!

Their work reminds me of the ideas of D’Arcy Thompson in On Growth and Form (though I have to admit I have never been able to get through that whole book), who used mathematics to understand reoccurring patterns in natural forms.

Their pieces are on one hand gooey and organic, but at the same time strikingly contemporary and angular. The best of both worlds. I want to see their designs wherever I look, so go out and get them please!

What science inspired fashion do you like?


  1. Mark
    July 22, 2013

    Lovely dresses Erica! :-)

    Is there nothing for blokes though? Is the intention the we guys walk the world naked as the day we were born, while you hot babes wear fabulous dresses??

  2. Vijay
    September 24, 2013

    Interesting blog. I have a young daughter and she was talking about an Emmy awards like event for scientists. This was while we were watching emmy awards on TV y’day. May be some day there can be a fashion show as well for science inspired designer clothes and jewelery. BTW, my daughter is also a Berkeley grad.
    I am glad I was made aware of Kizoom by a friend of mine and came to this web site while looking for founders of Kizoom.


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