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There's nothing new about designing clothes that breathe, but XS Labs in Montreal are on the cutting edge of developing outfits that seem to have a life of their own. Skorpions, a collection of five kinetic garments that move, pulse and change with the body in slow, organic motions, are the result of a collaboration between Concordia University design and computation arts professor Joanna Berzowska and fashion designer Di Mainstone. Controlled through their own internal programming, the outfits incorporate electronically activated nitonol, a nickel/titanium alloy used in medicine, robotics and, increasingly, experimental textiles for its super-elastic, shape-holding properties. The Eneleon dress (pictured above) is made of heavy handmade felt and creamy leather; its seductive slits pulsate open to reveal a mirrored lamé layer. While you won't be finding Skorpions in your local department store any time soon, they could be the garments of tomorrow. You might even see them on high-fashion runways in the not-too-distant future.

For more information on this project, visit www.xslabs.net/skorpions.

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