Symphonic Clothing Plays Along With Music

Symphonic Clothing Plays Along With Music

Parson's design school has created items that respond to performer's movements.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 7 may 2013

Faculty and students from Parsons The New School for Design and its sister school Mannes College The New School for Music have been working for months to create their vision of the orchestral performance garments of the future.

The project is in partnership with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). It was BSO music director Marin Alsop who approached Parsons about redesigning traditional concert clothing.

The collaboration is led by Parsons faculty members, Gabi Asfour, fashion designer, and Sabine Seymour, wearable technology designer. The project is also supported by the Dean of Mannes College, Richard Kessler. The design school created two classes to work on the project–fashion students to work on the clothing and tech students to work on integrating technology into the clothes.

The clothing design combine vintage garments with modern style to create clothes that are sustainable and responsive to musicians’ movements when they perform. The wearable technology incorporated into the clothes is designed to show how performances can be elevated with added visuals by way of digital projections activated by motion and sound. The performance wear pieces and the stage will serve as the surfaces for the digital projections.


The collection of futuristic orchestral garments made their debut in a performance concert where students from Mannes College performed three musical pieces while wearing the designs.

The New School // Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Images via The New School


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