I have the same relationship with technological style as I do with my wife: Fascination and repulsion.
Glowing cufflinks and the like are theoretically neat but the execution often leaves much to be desired. To my mind, at least. Some people manage to build an entire aesthetic around these objects. While it’s not my cup of tea, it is, when well done, visually arresting. When it’s done poorly, it’s hypercolor.
My belief is these things have to not only be golly-gee neato but also beautiful. And, given the choice, I’d pull back on the golly gee. That factor wears off.
So it was with this mixture of fascination and repulsion that I commissioned fashion designer Breeyn McCarney and creative technologist Christopher Lewis to build me two glowing boutonnières out of paper.
I’d been flatly impressed by their techniques during their remote controlled, paper dress show at FAT. Rather than overwhelm the dresses, the LEDs added something modern yet tasteful to an unusual canvass. Just a splash of electric color.
I decided on boutonnières because I don’t use them everyday. I wanted this to be a highly specialized aspect of my wardrobe. Often the wrong thing to wear but, when right, absolutely perfect.
I chose a flower that shall remain private and a rose that could change color.
The rose is a horribly symbolic flower. Its literary content –any literary content– in clothing is totally at odds with my sense of style. I don’t believe clothing should intentionally be used as a mode of self-expression nor do I think you can tell anything about a person from theirs. Nonetheless, this flower code, spoken in color, remains, somehow appealing. Perhaps because it speaks more to the heart than the wallet, politics or taste in culture.
My attraction to blank, white paper that can be colored and made into something should be fairly obvious to anyone who cares to think about it.
The rose changes through the use of three knobs, the turning of which controls the dose of color. They can be mixed to great effect. Or not.
When off, the flower remains beautiful.