Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh unveils fashion exhibit

Imagine a dress that senses when someone next to a person is not socially distanced.

Technology designer Anouk Wipprecht created that and other state-of-the-art fashions. Her work is being displayed at the “How You Wear It” exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Museum Lab on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

The socially distanced outfit is called a spider dress. It has sensors and moveable arms to” create a more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fierce style,” she said.

The robotic dress attacks when you come to close, she said.

She also showcased a sensors dress that emits smoke when people are in close proximity, and a heartbeat dress.

Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review

Madison Scapicchio, of Pittsburgh, looks over a dress design that utilizes motion sensing technology, created by designer Anouk Wipprecht, during the kick-off event for the exhibit “How You Wear It” on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

The Netherlands native who lives in Miami debuted her work on Thursday at an event for her and other designers and Pittsburgh’s fashion community. The exhibit opens Saturday through January.

Through an artists’ call, 30 were selected. They encompass several genres from fashion to beauty. A series of panel discussions are to be scheduled throughout the rest of the year, including a week-long sewing class.

“We want to be able to teach children about careers in the fashion industry,” said Cat Burton, creative arts manager, for the museum. “The exhibit is broad so it includes designers, beauty experts and stylists and highlights sustainability in fashion.”


Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review

Visitors look over dresses designed for the exhibit “How You Wear It” on Thursday, March 10, 2022 at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The special kick-off event precedes the official opening of the show on Saturday.

The MuseumLab is equipped with sewing machines for the children to use to create garments in July for a fashion camp. A fashion show of their pieces is planned said Pittsburgh-based stylist Suzanne Mauro who will be involved in teaching the class.

Pittsburgh hasn’t had anything like this before, said Burton, who has produced fashion shows and has a modeling background.

She said the artists who are part of the exhibit are diverse and bring different styles and looks. The museum’s executive director had seen a story about Wipprecht and the museum’s director of creative experience Anne Fullenkamp reached out.

“Kids can be hands on learning about fashion,” said Fullenkamp, ​​as she was demonstrated the smoke dress.

Technology is so accessible, Wipprecht said. She involves 3-D printing and nylon powder to create lightweight garments. A former engineer, the 37-year-old will be doing an artist’s residency with the museum. She said she wants to talk about how the fashion industry can be more sustainable.

“Being here is fun,” she said. “I am looking forward to meeting the kids and helping to open their minds about fashion and technology.”

At the Thursday event, there was a board asking: “If you could learn to make on article of clothing what would it be?” Guests wrote answers on post-it notes such as a dress, a suit, a pair of shoes and a hat.

“We have such a great space to teach kids about fashion,” Burton said.

A video produced by Style412, a nonprofit dedicated to Pittsburgh’s fashion industry, played throughout the evening showcasing locals from the fashion community. Style412 executive director and founder Elysia Newman, who has worked in the fashion, design and wellness industries said the exhibit is “really cool.”

“There is an impress element of detail in the items that were curated to be part of the exhibit,” she said. “They included both local and non local designers. “

Such as Wipprecht.

“Fashion is a way to express yourself and tell your story,” she said.

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062, or via Twitter .

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