The Museum of Science and Industry invites you to Fashion Forward on November 13, an evening celebrating innovation and the future of design. Blending science and fashion, the event will feature a one-night-only installation of cutting-edge wearable technology curated from around the world. During the event (for which tickets can be found here), the Led Light Wedding Gown by Atelier Leon Leon from the Netherlands will be shown.
The story behind the LED wedding gown
Being known for glamorous designs, couture craftsmanship and embroidery, the curator of the NEMO Science Centre in Amsterdam invited Atelier LeonLeon to design a dress embroidered with LED for a new exhibition: Smart Technology.
Passionate about fashion and innovative technology, the designer Leon Klaassen Bos took this challenge and started his design imagining what innovation and technology means when it is worn directly on the body.
Says Leon Klaassen Bos: “It should complement and compliment the wearer and behold a promise of a wonderful tomorrow. I looked for inspiration at the architecture of the NEMO Science Centre. This building looks like a ship surrounded by water with lines that emphasize the shape. The water is translated in the silhouette of the dress: an upside down drop of water. The flowing lines are abstract waves of water moving around the female form, I imagined a birth of a retro-futuristic Venus of Light. I wanted to make an image of a warm and colorful future where new technology meets humanity to become sensual and aspirational.”
Tetris and a wedding dress
2000 LED lights show different animations inspired by the elements of nature: fire, sun, rainbow, falling stars, earth, etc. The dress was chosen to be the image of the new exhibition Smart Technology and became the number 1 attraction.
Because of this LED light dress for the NEMO Science Centre, a request came from a woman working in the gaming industry and passionate for new technology and fashion. She loved the creation for the Science Museum, was engaged to be married and asked if Leon could make her a wedding gown with LED light. He imagined what wonders could be done with such a dress, taking into consideration that it also had to be practical but still behold the glamour Atelier LeonLeon is known for.
“She told me her all time favorite game was Tetris and I wanted to include this gaming element in the lights. This dress should be airy, luxurious and mysterious. With new technology I was able to give the dress it’s own remote control, so that the lights could be switched on during her vows.”
A gown with a remote control
The empire line dress with a train coming from the top of the back, was made in silk organza to keep it lightweight. The train was discretely containing the lights, the computer and the battery. No one could see the technique on the inside. The youngest son of her husband-to-be was in charge of the remote control and briefed that he would get a signal when to switch the dress on. When it was her turn to say her vows, red lights were falling towards the hem, building up just like in a Tetris game. The guests were in awe. By the time she said “I do”, the train was glowing bright red. The dress was programmed to slowly change colors and animation of the lights, from just red to greens a blue, to pinks and purples and so on. Needless to say the bride was shining brightly, in every sense of the word, in a unique creation that will be remember by all who were there.
About the designer
Leon Klaassen Bos was born in Volendam, The Netherlands and started his career early. At eleven, he created a cotton khaki shirt-dress with bat-sleeves for his first client. At the age of sixteen, he won third prize for daywear in a national design contest, which he won in the knitwear category the following year. This led to contracts with several knitwear companies which allowed him to finance his first collection, which he presented in 1988 at the age of nineteen. Due to the success of the show, he enrolled at the Couture Akademie Bijenveld where he studied, graduating in 1992. While he was studying fashion design at the university he took an apprenticeship with couturier Frank Govers – where he realized his passion for couture and craftmanship. For the next three years, he created glamourous costumes and outfits for nightlife personalities in Amsterdam, New York and Paris.
In 1996 Leon Klaassen Bos was hired as head designer by former topmodel Katoucha Niane, who had started her own fashion house. He designed three collections which were presented in shows at the Carroussel du Louvre, and other venues in France and Africa by the supermodels of the time including Carla Bruni. Katoucha also introduced Leon to Yves Saint Laurent in 1997, who invited him to gain added experience in the techniques involved in the creation of haute couture designs. In 1999, one of his collections for Katoucha was shown in the Royal Palace in Amsterdam for Dutch Queen Beatrix and Prince Claus; after the show the pieces went on exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum. This led to commissions from private clients in Holland. In 2002 and 2003 he was invited to be a fashion stylist and TV host in an acclaimed television make-over show.
Since 2004 Leon has focused on couture design. By blending his knowledge of history, architecture and modern technology, with his experience in the Paris ateliers, Leon creates innovative and sculptural designs moulded to compliment the curves of a woman.
His latest creation has been exhibited at the ‘Smart Technology’ exhibition for the NEMO Science Centre in Amsterdam: a magical mix of seduction and hi-tech, history and futurism in an innovative and stylish LED light dress.