Designer Pauline van Dongen, one of E52’s High Tech Piek Awards winners, has presented a jumpsuit for athletes that is made out of condom material. It is a project in cooperation with Skyn Condoms. Skynfeel, the patented material of this brand, is an alternative for latex. The video that was made for this project (see below) is part of a campaign for Skyn.
The garment features dragonfly wing-inspired flaps located on the edge of the body, constructed from a thin layer of Skynfeel, and reinforced by a geometric laser cut grid.
“The approach of this project was very conceptual and experimental”, Pauline van Dongen says in the video. “It was really a material research. The Skynfeel material is great to work with. It is soft, thin, and lets you feel everything. We created this specific pattern because with the stretch of the body and the movement of the athlete, the flaps would open up and create these kinds of air pockets that would create lift during his jump.”
Van Dongen’s work is characterized by experimentation and the unconventional – often using innovative materials. “When Skyn Condoms approached me with the idea of using their unique material to create something innovative and provocative in the context of performance apparel, it appealed to me. The approach to this project was very conceptual and experimental. For me, Skynfeel Apparel is about trying something totally new, daring to challenging the conventional. Then, of course, supporting the use of condoms is a good thing, which I’m proud of doing.”
The apparel hasn’t been formally tested in labs, but the aerodynamics consultants that were involved in the project say that in theory this could actually help athletes jump just a little bit further. “We believe it potentially can enhance athletes’ performances”, Skyn’s David Chaker says. “If you talk to athletes, you’ll notice they make constant reference to one sense above all others – how things feel. Skynfeel Apparel has been designed to help the long jumper achieve more lift and remove obstructions enabling heightened feeling.”
The video is produced by Sid Lee from Amsterdam. The athtlete in the video is professional longjump specialist Joren Tromp.
Pauline van Dongen started her design studio in 2010, and immediately focused on tech and fashion. She got a lot of attention after her presentation of the solar panel shirt at SXSW, that was produced in collaboration with Holst Centre. Last year she designed the outfit for minister Jet Bussemaker for Prinsjesdag. Van Dongen also is a wearable technology researcher at TU/e.
(photos (c) Pauline van Dongen)