Fashion has a pollution problem

Fashion Has a Pollution Problem—Can Biology Fix It?

You’re watching the life cycle of a Streptomyces coelicolor. It’s a strain of bacteria that’s found in the soil where it lives in a community with other organisms, decomposing organic matter. Coelicolor is a beautiful organism.

A powerhouse for synthesizing organic chemical compounds. It produces an antibiotic called actinorhodin, which ranges in color from blue to pink and purple, depending on the acidity of its environment. That it produces these pigment molecules sparked my curiosity and led me to collaborate closely with coelicolor. It is an unlikely partnership, but it’s one that completely transformed my practice as a materials designer.

Misha Nonoo Easy 8

How Misha Nonoo Reinventing For The Future

Misha Nonoo was once your typical prestigious, lovely, small-to-medium-sized designer fashion brand—the sort celebrities and critics often adore. It made seasonal collections. It staged expensive, well-received runway shows at New York Fashion Week. It sold wholesale to upscale retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, and Shopbop.

Misha Nonoo the designer has since taken a giant risk, and ditched that model entirely.

art by algorithm

How Algorithms are Transforming Artistic Creativity?

When IBM’s Deep Blue chess computer defeated the world champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, humanity let out a collective sigh, recognising the loss of an essential human territory to the onslaught of thinking machines. Chess, that inscrutably challenging game, with more possible game states than there are atoms in the Universe, was no longer a canvas for individual human achievement. Newsweek called it ‘The Brain’s Last Stand’.

Dress for Evolutionary Success

Dress for Evolutionary Success

Picture one of those ascent-of-man charts that depict a progression of profiles, from an ape walking on all fours to a slumped hominid to a modern human standing erect. What’s missing? The modern human is naked. No accessories!

We may not find a chapter on fashion in science textbooks but ornamentation and tailoring have played feature roles in our success as a species. On the prehistoric catwalks we creamed the Neanderthal competition on both functionality and style and went on to become the dominant hominid in virtually every climate zone on earth.

Future Dictates of Fashion

Future Dictates of Fashion

An elderly gentleman of our acquaintance, whose reading has been rather desultory than profound, and tending rather to the quaint and speculative, was astonished recently at coming across a volume in his library of whose very existence he had been completely unaware. This volume was oblong in shape, was bound in mauve morocco, and was called “Past Dictates of Fashion; by Cromwell Q. Snyder, Vestamentorum Doctor.”

cheap fashion

The High Cost of Cheap Fashion

I confess: I do it, too. Like most Western women, I do it regularly, and it is a guilty pleasure every time. It is hard to listen to one’s conscience when one is faced with so much incredible temptation.

I am talking, of course, about cheap trendy fashion. I’ll visit a Zara—or Hampamp;M, or, now that I am in the United Kingdom for the summer, the amazing Primark – and snap up items that are “cute,” effectively disposable, and so shockingly inexpensive that one does a double take.

Men’s White Shirt

The Story of the Men’s White Shirt

The classic white dress shirt is familiar and omnipresent in men’s fashion. As a result, we tend to be unaware that for more than 200 years this singular item of apparel, which is essentially unadulterated in form from the late 19th century, has been able to define and represent status, wealth and fashion norms.

The history underlying this garment is rich and, in the main part, untold.