biology and fashion

Wearable jewellery

The crawling vein journeying on top of skin.

Looking at the photos above of wearable jewelry we are taken beyond adornment. We see the flesh of humans as a surface to grow upon or slither across, a skin and object symbiosis, where both enter into a co-creative relationship, mutually satisfying.

DENDRITES, dendritus, dendy-itis...the art of the dendrite.

 Fashion and Biology 

I love to make visual connections between distant ‘matter’ whether  ideas, things, places or states of being.  But when the ‘matter’ leads to underlying concepts I am absolutely thrilled about the tangential connections I travel on. Speaking of connections and tangent like things lets witness the activity of a dendrite, its physicality, and purpose inside and outside of our body.

dendrites of a neuron

parts to a neuron


Dendrites are branched tree extensions receiving electrical stimulation or impulses from other neurons. They transmit information at synapses between two nerve cells. They facilitate communication in the nervous system.

 What does this have to do with fashion? The incredible thing about fashion and other creative contexts is that the designer can explore from every possible discipline and any frontier. Let me take you through some possibilities. Below is an obvious one. Nerves and their dendrite affiliations silkscreened onto ties.

  • Neuron in Fashion


     Biological references in clothing flow poetically in the imagery below.

    Amoeboid fashion

    Anna Holvik -Cellular fashion

    Layers, membranes and cellular activity keeping us together. Biological systems revealing as exteriors, clothing becomes a shelter keeping both inner and outer worlds together harmoniously.

    human membrane in fashion

    Anna Holvik myelin sheath

      Anna Holvik’s cloth transparencies above make me think of the myelin sheath of an axon. Totally cellular.

    inside goes outside

    Schilder & Korintenberg photography

    I am taken by this photograph. Is it a splash of liquid frozen in a moment of time? It too reveals the inner cellular and membrane composition hitting the solid and serene exterior of human skin. One can see a startling contrast of chaos and order in a larger mystery.

    dendrite image in color micrograph

  • Thomas Deerinck dendrite imagery- microscopic pathways in glorious color

Spiny dendrites and the hippocampal pyramidal neuron.

Dendrites in the body

Dendrites can be smooth tapering branches of neurons or the neurons can have dendrites that enlarge  at the ends in varying ways. I keep thinking of stuffed non descript toys. Perhaps it is time to make some long dendritic pillows that span a king size bed.

dendrites and axons

Dendrites and Neurons

When we look at neurons that exist inside our body on a Petri dish this is what we might see. The dendrites are green, the axons are blue and synapses are the red spots which engage between axons and dendrites. More info here:

But as you know dendrite activity is way more complex than this. My intention here is to communicate that deep humility can reside in scientific inquiry, it comes from seeing, feeling and being the beauty in Nature, of what is. Art, fashion, literature  and other design disciplines express this endlessly. Humans are inextricably linked to the wonder-filled complexities of living on earth. We aren’t separate from one another. We share the same breath with the earth.

The following video explains the longing of a dendrite.




textile as liquid, in flux, morphing contemplation

dendrite activity

dendrite weathering


Dendrites form on rocky surfaces when weatherization has occurred through the release of ions from minerals.

Dendrites are a part of us and all around us.

I leave you with this poem


A blossom’s beauty hangs in glory

Trampled by the souls of men

Truth be seen, yet for a moment

This offering has come and past

Her velvet dress swayed motionless

To the dance that

He began Rhythm filled like dendrite drums

Chorus coupled; man and beast

In falling moments she lay in peace

Forgotten from the one she loves?

by Manny Galvan





Subscribe to S-AMUSE

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *