Primal Fashion

Two sisters -- a developmental biologist and high-end fashion designer -- team up to develop a couture collection inspired by the first 1,000 hours of embryonic life

Cristina Luiggi
May 19, 2011
Sperm coat, courtesy of Helen Storey
Photography: John Ross. Model: Connie Chiu
Although they grew up under the same roof, the Storey sisters might have well been living in two separate worlds. linkurl:Kate,;http://www.lifesci.dundee.ac.uk/people/kate-storey a developmental biologist and head of the Division of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Dundee, spends most of her days in a lab working to unravel the mysteries of neural development. linkurl:Helen,;http://www.helenstoreyfoundation.org/bio_phs.htm born just 16 months earlier, was drawn to the glamorous world of fashion, training under iconic couturiers such as Valentino before launching her own clothing label.But that all that changed in 1996 when the Wellcome Trust put out an initiative looking to fund collaborations between artists and scientists. Drawn by the possibility of communicating her science to a broad audience, Kate sent her sister the leaflet with a post-it note bearing a single question mark.Helen was intrigued. "By nature, I'm an experimentalist,"...
White fake fur neurulation dress
courtesy of Helen Storey
Photography: John Ross. Model: Connie Chiu
The Primitive Streak
Primitive Streak (African Streak) dress and illustration
courtesy of Helen Storey
Photograph: Justine. Model: Korinna
The Heart of the Matter
Heart tubes fusing bodice and skirt
courtesy of Helen Storey
Heart tube hat, courtesy of Helen Storey
Photography: John Ross. Model: Connie Chiu
Spine-Chilling Genius
Red fake fur neurulation dress and illustration
courtesy of Helen Storey
Correction (5/23): The original version of this story stated that Helen Storey is 16 months younger than her sister Kate. It is in fact the other way around. The Scientist regrets the error.


Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?