Does Clara Dream of Electric Sheep?

In Stijn Celis' latest ballet “Clara”, performed at the Saarländische Staatstheater, the main protagonist is an in-between figure, an android suspended between the human and the robotic world. Having designed futuristic costumes for this performance, knitwear designer Laura Theiss turned to this unique heroine for her A/W 2020-21 collection.

We are surrounded by new technologies and advanced machines and we are collectively fascinated by androids, but, at the same time, we are scared about a world ruled by machines in which we would lose our identities and humanity. In her latest designs Theiss plays with this dichotomy, symbolised by Clara, a sythethic being with a human heart. Like Rachael in Philip K. Dick's science fiction novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Clara is a transhuman character, who struggles to reconcile her real nature with strong emotions and feelings of love and empathy.

Theiss' new collection features layered looks combining traditional knitwear techniques with technology. The softest wool and cotton tops, skirts and dresses characterised by asymmetric silhouettes, delicate lace-like configurations, crocheted zigzag motifs, geometrical patterns and grid-like textures are matched with nude coloured tricots and body-suits embedded with computer chips.

The chips recreate an artificial and synthetic skeleton, with elements reminiscent of human bones and muscles. This futuristic pattern hides a visually striking secret: the chips are created with a reflective material that shines bright under the light, creating eye-catching visual effects under the knitwear designs.

This high tech effect was created in collaboration with the Bond Factory, an Italian company specialised in technologies such as thermowelding, melting for construction, taping, embossing, press bonding and laser cutting.

The palette for the A/W 20 collection focuses on black, brown, navy, dusty pink and red, interspersed with metallic and reflective yarns for unexpected glamorously futuristic and visually striking touches.

The result is a collection for strong modern and dynamic women who feel as fierce as androids and who choose Laura Theiss' designs to face the challenges of everyday life with courage, fearlessness, determination and style.

Written by Anna Battista


Photographer: Jennifer Weyland
Model: Maria
Styling and creative direction: Egle Renault

Assistant: Tabea Sand
Hair and MakeUp: Miriam Regitz

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