Fashion Meets Science: Knitwear Inspired by CT Scans of the Brain

Designer Brooke Roberts takes inspiration from her medical industry past and designs knitwear based on CT scans and x-rays of the brain.

Sometimes inspiration can come from the strangest of places. Designer Brooke Roberts worked for a few years as a radiographer in Australia before moving to London to study fashion design and pattern cutting at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins. However, it was not until her second collection that she was inspired to merge her science past with the fashion future she is trying to build.

Using her unique scientific and technical insight and broad knowledge of human anatomy, Roberts started looking at x-rays and CT scans for inspiration. Using Photoshop and a textile design program called Eneas she programs knitting machines to translate these medical images into bold yet organic graphic patterns for her clothing. Roberts’ pieces are knitted, with each pixel representing a stitch, in a mix of cotton, wool, cashmere, silk, and lurex. This material mix gives the final pieces a wonderfully layered, luxurious quality.

Inspired by fashion greats like Thierry Mugler, Pierre Cardin, and Haider Ackermann as well as starchitect Zaha Hadid, Roberts has a very specific person in mind when she designs. In an interview on Stylenik, she talks about her:

A woman who belongs to a seemingly unserved segment. I think about science, technology, medical and media professionals who will not only appreciate the beauty my designs, but will also connect with the story and information behind it. I am targeting a group of incredibly smart people – people who work in industries that advance by the hour, people who enjoy, if not expect, to learn something new every day. I am aware that for many people in this niche, fashion can be a bit too subjective, too lacking of structure, rhyme or reason. With my brand, I want them to make sense of it all. I want my customer to see their field combine with the enigmatic fashion world to create products that are cutting edge, innovative and serious conversation starters.

The collection, which is called “Cuts” is sold exclusively at British retailer Browns Focus. Brooke Roberts is based in London and, while she grows her line, continues to support herself as a radiographer.

Johanna Björk

Johanna is a sustainable fashion writer currently based in Ojai, CA. Read her weekly On Trend column to learn what's new in eco fashion.