Natalia Santiago

London College of Fashion Graduate, Harikrishnan, put together a clothing collection for his graduate showcase which consisted of bulging latex pants paired with fitted coats or beaded shirts. It also included handmade beaded shirts and trousers made with help of workers in Channapatna.

“This project is about contrasting realities, visuals, materials and approaches,”


The main focus of the project was to distort perspective by creating physically impossible silhouettes with latex. The collection also served as a way to showcase the ability of different materials and how they can be crafted.


What feature of the work could we specifically evolve into a technique for wearable kinetic sculpture or costume?

Latex is commonly used to create skin-tight garments, in this case rather than accentuating body parts Hirikrishnan is exaggerating them. Therefore, latex is a material that easily allows one to create exaggerated and distorted organic forms through inflation and stretching. This property of latex which Hirikrishnan accentuates through his work can very easily be applied to wearable kinetic sculptures and costumes.

Another aspect that can be evolved into wearable kinetic sculptures or costumes is the idea of properly manipulating your material and craftmanship. In order to create such exaggerated silhouettes, Hirikrishnan put together over 30 panels of latex to get the form he wanted. This idea is also apparent through his beaded garments. Each article of clothing was created with hand-made beads created by workers in Channapatna who are known for their woodwork and craftmanship.

What details of the artist or concept are not immediately apparent and how do they inform the work?

The construction of the garment. From far away the trousers seem like one seamless piece of latex. It is not until you look closely that you can see that each article of clothing is made up of multiple panels of latex which are carefully put together. The pants are then inflated by a valve located at the end of the garments. In regards to the beaded articles of clothing, the sewing of beads is very intricate.

Are they closely related works?

There have been other artists/designers who have also worked with latex and inflatable kinetic designs.

Spanish artist SiiGii:

“designed a wearable, inflatable lilo from latex that enables users to lounge on a pool float in the summer without aggravating their allergy to the sun.”

Central Saint Martins fashion student Fredrik Tjærandsen:

Enveloped models in giant rubber balloons that transformed into garments when deflated.