What is Phem?


What is Phem?


Have you watched our fashion film? <<< This is Phem.

Phem can also be understood as a design exploration for fabrics that can be digitally animated, or, fabrics that have the dynamic abilities of a computer screen. It all began with us wondering, What would it be like to wear fabrics like this? and What would it be like to conceptualise and build a fashion brand that uses fabrics with dynamic behaviours?

The fabric Phem uses works similarly to augmented reality in that it appears one way through a smartphone screen and another way in real-life (you can read more about that here). However, how it technically works is not what’s important to us. Making these garments and the fashion film that accompanies them was a way to explore what it means to wear and design garments with a digital layer, or, garments with a hybrid digital-physical existence. Much like the way many of us live today–navigating between digital and physical experiences–we wanted to explore how this space could be used expressively for fashion. Can it be beautiful? Can it be feminine? Can it make us feel something? Can it make sense in everyday life scenarios, like for example, while reading the newspaper or drinking a coffee?

Below is an interview with designer Angella Mackey where she describes more of the thoughts behind Phem.



Interview, camera, editing: Rachel Rietdijk, Model: Anne Forceville @ Tulip Models, Featured designer: Angella Mackey /// Also depicted: Vera van het Hof @ Club Futur and Iris Bekkers


This film was produced as part of a larger design research initiative exploring dynamic and responsive materials at Philips Lighting Research and the Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands from 2015-2019. Our core research team includes Angella Mackey, Koen van Os, Stephan Wensveen, Ron Wakkary, Oscar Tomico, and Annika Hupfeld.

This research is part of ArcInTexETN, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions grant agreement No. 642328

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