Claudia Cheuk

Digital Fashion



Inspired by research on French artist ORLAN, body modifications and the transhumanist movement have opened a pathway to promoting female empowerment and self expression. Going back to the roots of ancient mythology and paying homage to both Eve and Medusa’s stories, this thesis is a transhumanist approach to female empowerment.

Reinterpreting the traditional implications of these tales regarding the dangers of female sexuality and the righteousness of female oppression, this is a statement on strength and resilience. This is women embracing their femininity and sexuality, regaining power and control over their trauma and bodies – a form of spiritual rebirth
Video: Final digital outcome
Image: Photoshoot of final physical outcome

Design Ideation

Besides traditional depictions of Medusa, the aesthetic approach of the designs were drawn from traditional African, European, and Asian body modifying tools; such as corsets and feet binding, alongside symbols of royalty like thrones and headdresses. This research was the first step into exploring female oppression throughout history – as a way of recognizing past struggles to then regain the power of the female body. The juxtaposition between tools of restriction and empowerment was put into the ideation of these designs.
Biomimicry and researching creatures with defense mechanism inspired the fluid movement of the designs – such as jellyfish tentacles, the body of snakes, and porcupine quills.
Image: Initial sketches
One example in the final line-up below is the first look from the left resembling a Victorian era crown and gown in Europe. Another instance is the second look that encapsulates elements of ancient Chinese headdresses worn by concubines and queens. A third example would be the fifth look that is inspired by headbinding from the Mangbetu tribe in Africa.
Image: Final collection line-up

Digital Outcome Ideation: Filming and Editing

Poses and particular scenes in the digital animation was inspired by traditional paintings that embodied female empowerment, regaining control over their trauma, and controversial pieces.
These include: The Two Fridas (1939) by Frida Kahlo, Liberty Leading the People (1830) by Eugène Delacroix, The Birth of Venus (1485-1486) by Sandro Botticeli, and overall general depictions of Eve in Eden.
Image: Screenshots of digital animation alongside their respective references

Digital Outcome Ideation: World Building

To complement the figures, the digital environment embodies a reimagined futurist and minimalist version of Eden. Other components in the world building was also influenced by prior research.
The Texas horned lizard cries blood when they feel under attack as a defense mechanism. This inspired the make up look of the avatars.

The throne design was inspired by ancient Chinese thrones as in reference to preliminal research. They are similar in silhouette but differs in a way where EVE’s throne has a toned down color palette and added minimalist touch.
Image: Screenshots of components in digital animation and their respective inspirations

Making Process

Digital Work
As a first time Blender user, the learning curve was steep at times especially when it comes to animation. The most difficult part about the digital work is mimicking the movement of the tentacles to make it look natural and smooth. After many attempts using tools such as soft body physics and manual rigging, the final solution was using shape keys and manually adjusting the shape of the tentacles, which was then animated using keyframes and the graph editor.
Physical Work
Forming a physical headpiece by drawing inspiration from and simplification of the initial sketches, the difficulty lies in balance with gravity in real life. To create a skin-like texture and color that blends with the human body, a bald cap was the best way to connect the headpiece to the head seamlessly. Dipping cut pool noodles in latex and mending edges with scar wax has allowed the pool noodles to blend with the bald cap seamless as well. Painting the entire headpiece with foundation at last ensured a smooth transition from the model’s face to the structure.
Video: Screen recording of Blender shape keys process
Image: Making of physical headpiece –attachment of latex components, and initial shape and weight testing


Claudia Cheuk, born and raised in Hong Kong, is a designer with a passion for digital fashion, transdisciplinary design, videography, communication design, and special effects makeup. Throughout her journey, she is constantly inspired by tackling and expressing complex ideas in simple ways through metaphors, oxymorons, and juxtaposition. Getting in touch with digital tools in recent years, her current focus is on exploring and integrating technology into her design practice.