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© 2010 Elizabeth

Life Dress [Dress]

The Life Dress has a maintained page at
This is the first occasion that I finally assembled the pieces of the dress into one, relatively cohesive whole.  Seeing as many of the LEDs were shorted out, I could not connect the tiles into the intended matrix.  Instead, I wanted to connect the tiles with an insulator and wire them individually so as to give me the opportunity to see how the dress looks and take some sample shots of how it would look lit.  Thus, after riveting each of the corners I would connect tiles by wrapping rubber bands around the rivets.  This also allowed for a greater degree in flexibility in seeing how it could come out.

Life Dress IlluminatedInterior of dress laid out on table. Embedded circuitry is disconnected so that lights are hardwired with insulated wires. The colored stickers are markers for good vs. burnt out tiles.

To see how the dress lit up, I then used insulated wire to connect each of the desired tiles and hooked it up the a variable power supply.

It was after all this that the problems started occuring.

Despite the insulation of the rubber bands themselves, the elasicity drew tiles together so that they made their own connections.  Some of these connections were to shorted tiles so that, despite all my efforts, the tiles would not light properly.  It was at this point that I acknowledged that my original plan of a photo shoot on the Brooklyn Bridge would not be happening that night.  Instead, I decided to do a quick demonstrative shoot on the floor with the dress.  However, moving it around to put it on worked appart some of the looser rivets, which popped off.  I have come to accept that my connection technique at this moment needs revisitng.

Illuminated life dress on mannequin hooked up to a bench power supply.

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