Julia L F Goldstein

How Are You Changing the World?

Blowing Smoke

Nov 04, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein

High-tech Dutch fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht has created a dress that blows smoke when anyone gets close. Now, that could come in handy when walking in the wrong part of town, as well as prove interesting at a cocktail party. The concept is quite something. The dress is made from 3D printed lace made of polyamide and TPU 92A-1, a thermoplastic polyurethane that is the first flexible 3D printed material. It is completely malleable and supposedly feels like futuristic plastic. (That doesn't sound very comfortable, but comfort is not the goal of outrageous fashion concepts.) Proximity sensors and a smoke machine that produces silicon-based smoke complete the outfit.

But here's where it gets even more intriguing. The dress was created for VW as part of an elaborate display at a Frankfurt car show. So, I have to ask, does it spew clean smoke? When an unwanted intruder approaches, can the wearer adjust the software using her smart phone so he is inundated with noxious fumes?

I ask this as the unfortunate owner of a 2011 VW TDI diesel car. When I bought the car I did consider the excellent mileage and the claims of clean diesel, so different from the diesel cars of the 1970s. I've been duped, and I'm mad at VW. I liked this car and planned on keeping it for 10 years, as I did with my previous car. Now I need to keep it long enough for people to forget this fiasco and be willing to buy one secondhand. I got a letter in the mail from an attorney encouraging me to sue for loss of resale value, but that's not worth the headache.