G E E KO NGIFRAL STHAIKOENS
B Y N A TA LIE Z EE
Designer Diana Eng creates style with a scientific twist.
Fashion designer Diana Eng, self-proclaimed Her fashion desig ns show the beauty in
fashion nerd, says “I’m trying to make fashion the technicalities of math and science.
and technology something people can relate Her signature showcase piece, the
to in their lives.” She graced the nation’s TV waves Inflatable Dress , was created in
earlier this year as a contestant on Bravo’s Project school with her classmate and now
Runway. “Part of the challenge is that I’m just curious. business partner/co-designer,
I feel like it can definitely be done, but I want to Emily Albinski. The concept for
know if it can be done.” the project was to explore how
Diana Eng is our kind of fashion designer. She design changes through shape
loves science magazines and comic books. She’s a and color.
techno-geek at heart who codes her own HTML on The dress’ center is a
her blog ( dianaeng.com) because she likes having modified hand vacuum con-design control over the layout and images. She nected with tubing to help
loves to experiment and figure out how things work. inflate the dress. Varying
It is with that curious spirit that Eng, who graduated the amount of air from
from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in the vacuum changes the
apparel design two summers ago, may be our new silh ouette of the dress.
hope for technology’s future in fashion. The idea is simple: “You
It’s no surprise that Eng’s equal love of fashion and might be at prom and you
technology goes all the way back to her childhood want to be the only person
roots in Jacksonville, Fla. There, with her computer with your dress. So, if your
scientist father and architect mother, Eng and her dress changes shape, you will
younger brother (now an MIT student) would frequent always be the only person with
art shows and museums, especially works by artist your dress,” Eng concludes with a
Richard Meyer. “We always had design books around,” girlish laugh.
she remembers. Her next piece, the Heartbeat
In the science world, her mentor was her grand- Hoodie, takes technology a bit further.
mother, a math and computer science teacher, who It’s a stylishly designed hooded vest
would take Eng as a young girl to math conferences jacket complete with camera and heart
and who introduced her to research on spirolaterals. monitor. The concept explores the idea
By the time she reached her teens, Eng was of involuntarily documenting parts of
already a guest lecturer at the Florida Council one’s life at moments of interest or
of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference,
speaking on the benefits of using visual aids, such Diana Eng is our kind of designer. She loves science
as origami or spirolaterals, while teaching math. mags, comic books, and codes all her own HTML.