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While a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Diana Eng and classmate Emily Albinski created a gown–fitted with a hacked hand vacuum and a series of valves–that inflates and deflates according to the desired silhouette.
One of Eng’s tech-influenced designs: a hoodie embedded with a wireless heart monitor attached to a digital camera. The camera snaps pictures as a wearer’s heart rate increases, acting as a sort of “involuntary blog” to capture images of daily life.
During an episode of “Project Runway,” Eng consults with the show’s mentor Tim Gunn, chair of the Department of Fashion Design at New York’s Parsons The New School School of Design. “Although we saw her struggle periodically, she projected a seriousness of purpose that was unfaltering,” Gunn says of Eng.
For the first “Project Runway” challenge, Eng created a skirt fastened with magnets. Unfortunately, the magnets had polarity problems on the runway, which made the catwalk slightly awkward for model Shannon.
Eng designed a series of garments that use biomimetics, the science of applying principles of nature to technology and product design. In this outfit, the cowl neck sweater transforms into a boatneck sweater.
While this skirt and top might look like a standard ensemble, Eng used specific principles found in nature to design it. She created the prototype garment while studying with a group of biologists at the University of Bath in England.