Entertainment - Style

Balloon Dresses By Fredrik Tjærandsen

By Sara Stefanovic
4 min read

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Giant balloons that turn into haute couture clothes? anything is possible. The fashion show by Fredrik Tjærandsen, BA Fashion Womenswear student at Central Saint Martin, can easily be included among the most absurd fashion shows in history. The young man won last year’s L’Oreal Pro Talent Award but the show continues to be popular on social media.

The collection, presented on the occasion of the fashion show organized by Central Saint Martins was called “moments of clarity“. A sort of fetish epiphany, during which one’s vision completely changes, a challenge to appearance. As in Joyce’s moments of lucidity, nothing is as it seems, and a balloon can be transformed into an evening dress.

My collection is inspired by an almost indefinable moment in which the self-awareness of a human being becomes active and sentimental.”

Fredrik Tjærandsen
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Thanks to a valve inside the balloons, models involved in this performance could regulate the air pressure and release it at the right time. This pressure game, as can be seen from the video, aroused great amazement in those who were present, who did not expect this happening.

The backstage

The looks created by the young artist are eight and were created with natural rubber (5 meters of rubber were needed for each dress) coming from Sri Lanka. Suppliers purchase the material from local growers. 2000-3000 liters of oxygen were used to inflate the clothes before the fashion show and the process was quite long. Just to inflate the smallest balloons it took 10 minutes, while to inflate the largest it took an hour!

I have struggled and experimented with various materials in order to re-create the mental process of this epiphanic moment, to show its progression.

Fredrik Tjærandsen

From the dream moment, when the bubble arrives on the catwalk, to the return to reality, to consciousness, when the bubble deflates. The young artist personally tested the safety of his work, slipping himself into his fantasies. Any risks? the burst which, as the designer himself explains (as it happened three times) is deafening, like the burst of a gigantic balloon.

Moreover, contrary to what we can think, these clothes are reusable. The dress can be inflated and worn again, several times. Obviously, the wearer mustn’t suffer from claustrophobia! You can stay inside the bubble for about three hours, as the human being needs about 480 liters of oxygen per hour to survive.

Fredrik’s future

After the huge success of the fashion show that ‘broke Instagram‘, the young artist continued to work on his projects and created a new collection.

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The balloons originally were supposed to be bigger, reaching 15 meters in diameter, be more transparent and guarantee a greater possibility of movement inside it, however the space had not allowed the complete development of this idea.

The artist has developed the concept of performance, showing his vision in an integral way with videos shot in collaboration with Nick Knight.

My dream is to create a sustainable business between art, fashion and performance

Fredrik Tjærandsen

The main problem is the impossibility of exhibiting the works in a museum because of the materials deterioration. Clothes need constant maintenance to prevent them from spoiling and to allow the conservation of his work. The more they are used, the more the transparency of the rubber decreases. The artist must wash them every day and moisturize them before the use, like living organisms.

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The key word of the project is TORUS, an infinite form, in which all the parts are connected together. A sort of circular artistic economy, where mass and energy can be recycled continuously, creating the illusion of an infinite expansion.

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Being the material perishable, I decided to make my work eternal thanks to videos and photos. In this way my work will continue to live and, I hope, to amaze the next generations.”

Fredrik Tjærandsen

The artist admits that it is a shame not to be able to experience the sensation of being inside this micro-cosmos in first person. However, with the progress of technology, it will be increasingly possible to give viewers the opportunity to see and ‘live’ the experience from different perspectives.

4 min read

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