Café des Sciences: Fashion Design inspired by Architecture, Physics and Mathematics

Join our “Café des Sciences” event in April and explore the design world of Swiss fashion designer Stefanie Tschirky.

“Mathematics as an expression of the human mind reflects the active will, the contemplative reason, and the desire for aesthetic perfection. Its basic elements are logic and intuition, analysis and construction, generality and individuality… It links the abstract world of mental concepts to the real world of physical things without being located completely in either” – R. Curant and H. Robbins

Mathematical theories have been used over decades to create perfection in science as well as in art. It has been applied as a tool and a language to develop outstanding achievements in technology. As society becomes more and more reliant on technology, mathematics becomes more and more influential in the every day life. The connection between mathematics and fashion might not appear obvious, however both are concerned with abstract ideas, patterns, symmetry and the study of forms. Both fields always aim for perfection, to find clarity in chaos. 

Using alternative mathematical theories as a starting point, Swiss fashion designer – Stefanie Tschirky – aims to counter the idea that we can organize the unpredictability of the natural world to create perfection. The fashion industry is one which is dictated by the constant search for perfection, that it is something that can be created and sold. However, in mathematical theories such as chaos theory it is understood that that perfection is unpredictable and even mathematicians can not control.  

Stefanie intends to blur the boundary between wearable garments and moments of insecurity and therefore question the role of the fashion industry in its search for beauty. The fashion industries search for perfection keeps us in a constant state of longing, leading us to miss the fleeting moments where beauty appears and then disappears. Stefanie tries to create pieces that appear to capture a moment, one which could all fall apart in one instance. These pieces create a conflict between the ideals of the wearable fashion garment which is designed to be perfect and her understanding that beauty is fleeting and constantly evolving.



18:30 – 19:00 Doors Open

19:00 – 19:05 Welcome & Introduction

19:05 – 19:40 Presentation

19:40 – 20:00 Q&A

20:00 – 21:00 Networking reception



Swiss-born Stefanie Tschirky is a womenswear designer based in Shanghai and currently working for the Chinese luxury brand Comme Moi. 

Having graduated from the Royal College of Art, Stefanie has received the British Fashion Council Graduate Sponsorship, and went on to work with the luxury brand Mary Katrantzou in London. 

Stefanie Tschirky was the recipient of the CFDA Award for both her Bachelor and Master’s collections and was represented at the prestigious ITS2016 in Italy, she has received much media attention in recent years and has been published in magazines such as Vogue, Marie Claire and Dazed. 

Drawing inspiration from the fields of architecture and mathematics, Stefanies collections combine sharp lines with fluid contours. Her work articulates a modern urban aesthetic, which is crafted through innovative textile manipulation. The designs are both elegantly structured and precisely refined. 


All Photos © Stefanie Tschirky


Café des Sciences

Shanghai | Every third Thursday each month 2019

Café des Sciences is a new format at Swissnex in China offering a monthly platform for Swiss Spotlight Scientists and Start-ups to present their projects and connect with the local community. The lectures will offer a casual setting in which speakers can present their work and engage with the attendees during a Q&A period. The audience is welcome to enjoy the networking reception with Swiss flavour after the talk. The lecture is scheduled to take place every third Thursday each month at Swissnex in China or our partner spaces.