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Sparkling Swarovski headpiece changes colour with brain activity

High-tech couturier Lauren Bowker has designed a stunning headdress imbued with a chemical compound that changes colour in response to brain activity.

The Unseen

Self-described alchemist Lauren Bowker of London-based fashion house The Unseen isn't interested in the mundane. Her collections are unique, infused with specially created chemical concoctions that subtly shift hue in response to external stimuli.

The Unseen

"I'm interested in everything you can't see," she told Wired in February. "That might be the pheromones you release or the environment you're in -- its temperature or the local humidity." That was for her collection called Air, a series of sculptured garments that react to heat and air movement.

Her latest project sets out to reveal the truly unseen: the sparking and firing of neurons. It consists of a helmet-like construction of leather, her colour-changing ink, and 4,000 lab-grown Swarovski spinel stones -- which, she says, have a similar material composition to human bone.

"This parallel makes the gemstone compatible with the human, enabling each stone when worn to act as a conduction insulator, absorbing energy loss from the head," she said. "We discovered the pattern formation in the colour of each stones evolves throughout the day; this fluctuates over areas of the brain in use. When worn, the headpiece becomes a reflection of the inner human thought."

The colours of the stones shift through a gradient, from black, to orange, red, green, blue, and purple. You can read more about it on The Unseen's web page.