Lumen Couture: The Video Projection Hat Dress

Lumen Couture is a fashiontech project that projects images in motion on a dress. The wearer’s hat hosts a self-contained projector, mapped directly to the garment. Lumen Couture is a collaboration with Chris Corner (1.0 and 2.0) and Kyle Nylund.

Photo: Ernesto Augustus | Model: Michèle Wienecke | Hair & Makeup: Jason Mellor & Jade Brunes

Photo: Edward Ross | Model: Elizabeth Gray | Hair& Makeup: Jason Mellor & Jade Brunes

We had been discussing a projection-mapped dress for a number of years, sketching ideas and concepts for the project. Other designers had attempted projection mapped fashion, but all executions of the concept required the wearer to remain relatively still in one place. We wanted to create a dress that gave the model full freedom of movement down the runway.

Other ideas for the dress included a moving projection rig that tracked the model (too expensive for our budget, and not portable) and a projector under the skirt shining outwards (we were worried about the heat generated by the projector, plus the projection made the skirt transparent).

The final design includes a projection within the hat. The first version was controlled by an iPhone, and the updated version contains a full PC, tracking camera, and real-time projection mapping software inside the hat.

Work in progress shot of an early hat prototype.

Since Lumen Couture’s debut, it’s gained significant media attention including a feature in Vice Media’s The Creator’s Project.

Work in progress shot of an early hat prototype.

Work in progress shot of an early hat prototype.