Fashiontech continues to amaze us. Combining feathers with proximity sensors allowed us to trigger the effect of lightning by the rhythm of humans. The striking result: Lightning with Markantoine’s personal flair and a powerful nod to the delicate balance between nature and humanity.
With his singular designs, Markantoine is a top-tier creator shaping the evolution of fashion in Québec, as well as making waves internationally. An artist at heart, he’s always been driven to create no matter the medium. Originally from Shawinigan, Markantoine’s sharp eye for fashion led him to study it at Montréal’s LaSalle College, then on to Paris to work in the industry, before finally returning to Montréal and graduating from UQÀM in fashion design and management. With an esthetic he defines as “gothic-exotic”, Markantoine’s namesake brand is a fearless mashup of multiples extremes, that somehow seamlessly fuse together, to create something altogether new.
“I think my desire for creating is in everything I see, everything I touch, what I’m surrounded by.”Markantoine, designer
Create a storm on a coat. How’s that for a creative brief? The Storm Coat is an haute couture top that reacts to human proximity by reproducing various light patterns, with each feather contributing to the overall luminescent effect. Markantoine’s objective for the coat was to present all the emotion of light from a new sartorial and interactive perspective.
Markantoine collaborated with Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group’s Atelier Numérique to test, using sensors, the interplay between light emission and human proximity. Not an easy task. Different body shapes had to be taken into consideration to determine the ideal position of the bulbs on the feathers. The distance between, and the angle of the feathers also had a powerful impact on the effect once the coat was worn. Markantoine found his exploration into the world of fashiontech particularly stimulating since he usually creates ready-to-wear lines of clothing.
The Storm Coat’s Trajectory
Initially, the idea was to create a coat that would respond visually to the sound of thunder with lightning. As is usually the case, the concept evolved into new territory. The sound sensor, which couldn’t differentiate between ambient and storm sounds, became a proximity sensor. Even with this progression, the heart of the project remained grounded. During the lighting exploration phase, we studied the various ways light patterns transformed the feathered coat’s appearance. A major challenge was finding the right mix of bulbs, sensor and material to generate the most authentic lightning-like effect. In order to land on the right mix, we looked to the skies for inspiration (well, footage of real electrical storms, actually) to research the nuances of light created by powerful weather.
So Markantoine, how do you see fashiontech evolving?
“From a fashion point of view, I would say we’ll see more durable clothes, made from other recycled pieces of clothing. Or even clothes that could adapt in function to the exterior environment, reacting to elements like temperature or humidity. Something that I also believe might go viral very soon is the personalization of clothing. Let’s see!”
Let’s jump ahead 15 years from now. What fashiontech project would you most like to work on?
“Holograms really fascinate me. I think we’ll see that concept incorporated more and more. For example, imagine being immersed in a movie with something even more impactful than 3D. It would be interesting to combine fashion and holograms, to go above and beyond clothing.”
Thanks for everything Markantoine! Please, as you say, never stop creating.