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When we wake up in the morning and get dressed we do not think about what our clothes do beyond covering our bodies. We do not think about who made them, where the fabric came from, or messages in the design.

These details are what give clothing functionality beyond appearance. Descience is a perfect example of clothing having a visible functionality. The garments in Descience teach us about science and different studies scientists have done. Take a look at some of the Descience projects and you will see many representations of scientific resesarch. For example, the team OrphaCure designed a removable cage that represents emerging from a rare disease. These designs teach science through fashion.

Materials also add functionality. Recycled materials stand out compared to your normal cottons. You can see dresses made out of bottle caps and wrapping paper. One example is the collection by designers Eleni/Lynn, called “A Million Bucks”. They turned trash into cute garments. Items such as bike tires, old soccer balls, and even waste from city advertising material can be recycled into all different kinds of garments. Recycled garments are not only very desirable, but they communicate a message of environmental sustainability and conservation.

Fashion can be a way of educating or a way of protecting people and the environment. It can be a way of expression, like so many other art forms. It can express emotion such as pain and hope, and also conjure feeling like the sense of evolving, such as can be felt when seeing Valentim Quaresma’s “Work in Progress”. Overall, fashion has functionality below the surface.

India is a 12-year-old fashionista living in Boston, Massachusetts.

Photo Credit of Quaresma's "Work in Progress" to Phabrik Magazine

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