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Nicole Regine
by nicoleregine on 22 May 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Designed to transform the clothing we wear into more than a piece of fabric, style, or trend, this interactive kinetic dress makes a statement that every piece of clothing has a story. The closer the proximity, the more the dress unfolds to reveal hidden colors, and patterns inspired by storybooks and journals.

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The distance-controlled dress.
Are clothes made solely just for materialistic purposes?


In this project, the aim is for people to realize that clothing has a deeper meaning than what is seen on the surface level. The closer you are to the clothing, the more your story unfolds, the more you see, and the more it leads to different interpretations. For instance, the same clothing worn by 5 different people will evoke 5 different emotions based on their own experiences. 

Concept Video

The whole idea encapsulated in a video.


This dress makes a statement that every piece of clothing has a story. Clothes paint pictures of different phases we go through in our lives, reminding us of who we are at each stage, how far we have come in life, as part of our self-development. We evidence key moments in our lives marked by outfits we wear for special occasions such as wedding dress, boyfriend hoodie, uniform, or even workout tights, resulting in good or bad experiences. 

Short Film

Unfold My Story. 

Design Idea & Exploration

Exploring the concept of clothes with stories - the idea is inspired by the timeless tool of storytelling with key handcrafted elements found in books and journals. I conceptualized this idea through textile applications and fabric manipulation techniques such as distressing, embroidery, and dissolvable fabric. The colored sections are created using various pieces of worn clothing to represent different people's stories. With references from journal entries encapsulating emotions such as anger, fear, or joy, I associated them in a handmade, raw style with loud, vibrant, and quirky vibes to make this fashion piece pop and make a statement. Lots of ruffles and layers were incorporated to give volume to the piece, symbolizing the many folds of stories hidden in one piece. Through further extensive exploration of kinetic wearable technology, I explored how varying types of fabric, weights, stiffness, and friction affect the type of movement outcomes. 

How It Works

An Ultrasonic Sensor communicates to an Arduino microcontroller, which triggers the dress's transformation by Servos. Based on the distance proximity, a seemingly normal all-black dress opens up to reveal different hidden colors, patterns, and designs. The closer people are, the more the dress unfolds so that at a distance of 3 meters away, the sleeves lift. At 2 meters away, the four books open up. At 1 meter away, the lower portion of the dress is unraveled. As people move away, the dress returns to its original state.

Documentary Video

A behind-the-scenes look and explanation of my thoughts.


In this day and age, we treat clothes as something easily interchangeable, losing their value. Instead, to show a different perspective that clothes are more than just a piece of fabric, style, or trend, as it holds different stories to different people. This dress is designed to impact the future of the fashion world with technology, to illustrate if clothes can move they can unfold a story.

*Every aspect of the project was created by me - starting from the idea, fashion design, coding, photo editing to videography.

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