Join 3,564 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Topology on the Runway
March 8, 2010 9:19 AM   Subscribe

There's always been hyperbole in fashion; but fashion became truly hyperbolic this week when mathematican William Thurston, winner of a 1982 Fields Medal for his revolutionary re-envisioning of low-dimensional topology and geometry, teamed up with designer Dai Fujiwara (of the house of Issey Miyake) to produce a Paris runway show based on the fundamental geometries of 3-dimensional spaces. Thurston and Fujiwara briefly interviewed. Thurston's famous essay "Proof and Progress in Mathematics" concerns, among other things, Thurston's belief that the production of mathematical understanding can be carried out by means other than the writing down of formal proofs (though fashion shows are not specifically mentioned.) Previously in wearable non-Euclidean geometry: Daina Taimina's hyperbolic skirt.
posted by escabeche (19 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice post. Still holding out hope for pictures of supermodels eating donuts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:23 AM on March 8, 2010


Hot curves.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:23 AM on March 8, 2010


It's no worse than the regular unwearable stuff these runways usually have.
posted by demiurge at 9:49 AM on March 8, 2010


It's no worse than the regular unwearable stuff these runways usually have.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN????!?? THIS IS THE WORST EVER!!!!!1!!!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:14 AM on March 8, 2010


a Paris runway show based on the fundamental geometries of 3-dimensional spaces.

This is a good first step towards bringing fashion back to reality.
posted by DU at 10:15 AM on March 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Still holding out hope for pictures of supermodels eating donutsenclosing torii.

Also, that essay looks really great. Can't wait to have time to read it.
posted by DU at 10:21 AM on March 8, 2010


a Paris runway show based on the fundamental geometries of 3-dimensional spaces.

This is a good first step towards bringing fashion back to reality.


Yes, I agree, having models that actually exist in three dementional space can only be a step in the right direction.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:22 AM on March 8, 2010


I like this fibonacci petticoat.
posted by mothershock at 10:30 AM on March 8, 2010


Very interesting to read in that essay that Thurston was thinking about (and more to the point thinking about trying to prove) the Poincare conjecture; I'm still shocked it turned out to be true.

I would dearly love to see an essay from him making that proof more intuitively available, and especially addressing the issue of why it turned out to be so much more difficult to prove for 3 dimensions than for all higher dimensions.
posted by jamjam at 10:39 AM on March 8, 2010


Elsewhere in the department of topographic textiles.
posted by zamboni at 11:11 AM on March 8, 2010


Nothing new for the handknit designers, I fear.

Fibonacci.
Mathematical knits by Diana Eng (remember her from Project Runway?)

(But still cool)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:46 AM on March 8, 2010


Hyperbole is the best thing in the world!
posted by turgid dahlia at 12:13 PM on March 8, 2010


This reminds me of an essay I read many years ago -- A Stress Analysis of a Strapless Evening Gown.
posted by Sculthorpe at 1:16 PM on March 8, 2010


sarah-marie belcastro maintains some mathematical knitting web pages.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:00 PM on March 8, 2010


Also, escabeche, you always post articles about math that I've already seen. One of these days I'm going to post one of them before you do.
posted by madcaptenor at 4:24 PM on March 8, 2010


Consider a spherical cow.
posted by erniepan at 10:11 PM on March 8, 2010


Diana Eng also just had a one-woman show in New York titled The Fairytale Fashion Collection with motion and audio sensitive LEDs, and some with "deployable structures" like an Origami hoodie.

(Warning! Semi-self link since she is using the video I shot of the show for her website)
posted by autopilot at 3:52 AM on March 9, 2010


That show I linked above for Diana Eng (Seamless, in Boston) -- she had some of those kinds of things, too. (It was a semi-self-link for me, too -- we did a pressure-sensitive iPod controller wedding dress using the same controllers they used to use in those Burton iPod snowboarding jackets, but I was linking it for her mathy knits, which are FANTABULOUS).
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:00 AM on March 9, 2010


Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes, by Dr Daina Taimina wins the Diagram Prize for world's oddest book title.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:37 PM on March 25, 2010


« Older Sea monkeys love trance music! Dancing sea monkeys...  |  Lessons of a $618,616 Death... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments