Geek Chic Design: Fibonacci Sequence-Inspired Fashion

Gifted mathematician, Leonardo Fibonacci also known as Leonardo of Pisa or Pisano, (1170-1250)  with his famous number sequence of the Golden Ratio unwittingly created a sense of proportion in action that has inspired modern fashion design. His briliant succession of numbers idealizes proportion and once recognized, is seen continually throughout nature, art, fashion and architecture.


Rose Illustrating Fibonacci SpiralRose Illustrating Fibonacci Spiral

The Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio

Epitomized in the rectangle depicted below, this figure is built from an increasing aspect of the Fibonacci Sequence, which is the closest possible approximation of the Golden Ratio of 1 to 1..6. It is comprised of the series of numbers: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21, 34 etc. The next number is found by adding up the two numbers preceding it.


Fibonacci BlocksFibonacci Blocks


Known as Phi, the Golden Ratio  can be found everywhere. Phi creates a sense of balance, harmony and beauty of design that down through the ages man has found visually appealing and applied to all kinds of patterns, motifs and compositions for textiles, weaving, art and architecture that have slowly but steadily become what is sometimes known as "mathetecture." The unspoken message is that mathematics and fashion as well as other decorative arts, have a stronger connection than previously supposed.

Leonardo Fibonacci, the man

Known by several names, Fibonacci was born in Italy as Leonardo Pisano and was the son of a diplomat. He was educated in North Africa where his father, Guigliemo, was stationed in a Mediterranean port in northeastern Algeria where he represented mercants from the Republic of Pisa who were trading there.

The bright young man was inroduced to mathematics, a subject in which he excelled. He traveled widely with his father and after returning to Pisa, wrote a number of important texts that promoted ancient mathematical skills. Although a visionary, the brilliant young Fibonacci could not have envisioned the impact his numerical sequence would have on the modern world of fashion and wearable technology.

Michael Schmidt, Diane Eng and the Fibonacci Sequence

The fully articulated gown assembled from 17 pieces is the creation of New York-based fashion designer, Michael Schmidt and is based on the Fibonacci Sequence. It represents the link between fashion and mathematics. Architect, Francis Bitonti, created the 3-D model and Shapeways 3-D printed the dress in nylon. After being dyed black, the dress was lacquered and adoned with more than 13,000 Swarovski crystals.


Shapeways 3-D Printed DressShapeways 3-D Printed Dress


Internationally recognized fashion designer and graduate of Rhode Island School of Design, Diane Eng has used  the Fibonaccci Sequence to create a scarf which mimics a growth cycle all its own. During the knitting process, the new number of stitiches is added to the previous number of stitches to get the next number.


Diane Eng ScarfDiane Eng Scarf

Diane Eng


A special dress

The dress featured below is another example of a clever adaptation of the Fibonacci Sequence. The numbers revolve around the model's torso, adding up to a unique visual experience.


Number-Sequence DressNumber-Sequence Dress


The legacy of the Fibonacci Sequence

Future fashion designers may well find inspiration in the world of science. aided by a myriad of innovative materials, new shapes and silhouettes based on scientific and mathematic formulas may one day become an every day occurrence.

Closing thoughts on fashion:

Clothes, they say, have more important offices than to keep us warm. They change our view of the world and the world's view of us. ~ Virginia Woolf