Japanese artist Rie Hosokai has devoted a significant portion of her life to making one of the most impractical garments ever conceived: dresses made out of balloons. Under the name “Daisy Balloon,” she makes elaborate garments using nothing but stretchy rubber and air, and has won multiple art and design prizes for this. They cost about $2,000 and last about 24 hours, and she views their impermanence as part of their beauty. How very Zen of her.
Hosokai told the BBC that she hopes her balloon garments lift the spirits of her fellow Japanese citizens in the wake of the recent tsunami disaster “by reminding people of their childhood dreams,” which breaks my damn heart. I might not be shelling out for a balloon dress any time soon, but it’s fun to watch her twist the things together like so many huge, complicated, expensive balloon animals for grown-ups. I hope her balloons do manage to cheer some people up.