Like most that read this article, German artist Menja Stevenson has had her fair share of rides in city buses and trains, each of which has forced her (and you) to sit on top of garishly designed uniform seating. The fabric, as investigated by this article on the BBC, is not only made to outlast spills and stains, but also trends, as many of the painfully drab designs can last a decade or more.
Interested in this accident-resistant material, Stevenson began sourcing and creating outfits out of the fabric in 2006 for her project Bustour. The project forced her to persuade German transportation companies to personally ship her the fabric, as they are not commercially available. After finally obtaining the material she designed clothes that aesthetically camouflaged herself within each bus or train interior matching the fabric, capturing the reaction of fellow passengers.
“Wearing them, you sweat like crazy, they feel like a knight’s armor and it’s hard to act naturally,” said Stevenson. “I couldn’t believe that many people didn’t realize the connection seeing me and the seats together. Did they think that it was sheer coincidence? Some curious people at least talked to me, and a very few laughed, but most passengers would look shyly at me and quickly look the other way again.”
You can see archived documentation of these reactions (or lack there of) on Stevenson’s website. If you’re searching for a slightly more practical use for old transportation fabric take a look at the bags and accessories made from airplane seat fabric by Fallen Furniture (previously). (via This Isn’t Happiness)