Sperm Coat and fashion collection inspired by human life goes on show in Manchester

By Nick Owen | 10 October 2011
Spine Dress
Spine Dress© John Ross
A provocative textile collection that tells the story of the first 1000 hours of human life will be unveiled this weekend at the Manchester Weekender (October 14-16).

Primitive Streak, created by sisters Kate and Helen Storey, is a stunning blend of art and science and includes their provocative ‘sperm coat’ and ‘spine dress’. 

“Working on Primitive Streak was the beginning of an adventure into the world of science which has added a depth, richness and meaning that working in the commercial world of fashion couldn’t provide”, said Helen.

The sisters began work on the collection in 1997, using Helen’s knowledge of the fashion world and Kate’s background in biological science.

The newly commissioned dresses elucidate ten key events in human embryonic development, particularly the science behind the development of the lungs.

“Creating the original Primitive Streak exhibition was an organic process, which involved Helen looking down microscopes and experiencing embryonic development as it happens”, said Kate.

“The hardest part was then imagining how key events might be distilled and communicated in representational designs that, if they were to succeed, had to stand in their own right as works of art”.

Six of the 27 dresses that make up the collection will be put on show for the first time in the shop-front of Manchester Debenhams and the Royal Exchange Theatre during the forthcoming Manchester Weekender.

The dresses, as well as the sister’s Heart Hat will also be displayed during the forthcoming Manchester Science Festival, which runs October 22-30. 

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