Flora Miranda: Fashion, Technology And The Human Condition
When we talk about Fashion and technology our minds would naturally wander towards smart watches, Fitbits or perhaps a stylish pair of headphones. But to a creative mind like Flora Miranda there is so much more that can be done with the interaction between these seemingly unrelated mediums. Flora does not only see a great deal of potential in what technology can do for fashion but how fashion can influence the future of technology.
Flora Miranda, is a fashion designer, bent on pushing the boundaries of the industry with the aim of exploring ideas that go beyond fashion. A common theme of her work is the interface between technology, humanity, and society. She uses technology in novel ways to design her pieces while also using her pieces to comment on the future of technology itself.
But one might ask what made Flora fascinated by the interface between fashion and technology? Everything about flora Miranda’s designs can take you by surprise, from its avant-garde form to its far-reaching messages, but the one thing that doesn’t surprise is her up-brining. Flora was born in Salzburg Austria which, perhaps non-coincidentally, is the birthplace of Mozart making the city one of the cultural epicenters of Europe. Her father is also a musician, composer, and a painter while her mother is a fashion connoisseur. She also attended a high school who gave special attention towards developing artistic skills like painting, dance, music, and design. Even from a young age Flora participated in junior fashion competitions winning awards for her work every year. In Flora’s own words:
“Creativity is the most natural thing”
Flora’s father organized an experimental music festival every year, she describes music as a very technological field, especially digital music, comparing the process of creating new digital instruments with programming. This was where Flora was first exposed to the interface between technology and creative fields like music. This was perhaps the precursor to her fascination with combining fashion and technology. This initial fascination eventually became a center piece in Flora’s work.
Flora’s work aims to not only utilize technology to create novel pieces of fashion but also to use fashion to comment on the state of technology. An excellent example of this is her ‘Deep Web’ line. Flora describes her work more in terms of an encompassing experience, combining music, lighting, and the environment to create a performance that surrounds her fashion. When creating her Deep Web line, she combined this with a show that aimed to inform the audience of the potential of machine learning. Flora describes fashion as an excellent tool for telling stories, in her words:
“Fashion is a tool to allow people to identify with something, because when you put something on, it becomes you”
Flora’s work to use technology as a tool for design in the world of fashion is exemplified by her ‘IT Pieces’ line. Here Flora worked with programmers to design a machine learning algorithm that scans through your public Facebook posts. From there it analyzes a database of music and finds a song that best matches the sentiment and writing style of your posts and selects a specific phrase from this song. This phrase is printed on a customized shirt tailored to the individual. Flora has been fascinated by the potential for machine learning to change the way we dress. She sees that the vast amounts of data we collect on people every day for targeted advertisements or movie recommendations are not being used in ways that are directly helping people. She described creating a machine learning algorithm that uses your data to design clothing specifically suited to you based on your data.
“I wish data would be used in ways that gave back more to people than just ads.”
Flora is an example of someone who does things their way, without adhering to previously set standards. She is a true pioneer in her field, exploring techniques and ideas in fashion that few have thought to delve into. It comes to show that being creative requires a bit of bravery and risk as being creative means to explore the unexplored, just like Flora in her fashion. Do not let yourself be limited by you prepositions and especially not by your fears.
Contributor: Kean Ooi
Photographer: Domen Van De Velde, Elsa Okazaki, Etienne Tordoir, John Mc Grath, Laetitia Bica, Ronald Stoops