Ex Machina

Angela Dale

Ex Machina is a multi faceted exploration of identity and communication especially with regards to human machine interface.


The Ex Machina costume serves to augment the performer’s body, voice and movement with sculpted armour, rebound boots, vocal modulation and sensors that translate movement into light and sound that is played back via built in speakers.

Materials Used

Flexi firm, hi density foam, silver taffeta, black polyester twill, spandex, stretch bubble silk, Fosshape, black patent leather, fibre optics, tubular crin, plexiglas rod, construction helmet, glue gun, latex contact cement, thread.

Ex Machina | Designer: Angela Dale | Model: Christina Robertson | Photography: Zev Vitaly Abosh

The Details

  • The mask has a built in speaker to play back the dancers voice using a vocal modulation shield and Arduino Uno.
  • There are color changing fibre optic lighting elements as well as a glowing cranium controlled by Synthesia Nexxus micro controllers.
  • All headdress and mask controllers are mounted in the cranium section of the headdress.
  • The alien like “skin” was created using spandex with a layer of stretch bubble silk on top.
  • The  “armour” was created with flexi firm, foam, fabric, patent leather and Fosshape.
  • Side glow fibre optic elements were mounted on the edges of the armour to create a subtle glow effect. The LED’s for each section were hidden under the armour sections.
  • The front button panel was inset into the patent leather corset and runs off an Arduino Uno.
  • The controllers and batteries for the body sections are mounted under the armour down the back.
  • Touch sensors in the gloves and boots are controlled by a Drumpants controller and sound is played back through speakers mounted on the shoulders and hips.

Electronics Used

Electronics included in this design are:

  • ws2812b LED’s,
  • Synthesia Nexxus controllers with LiPoly batteries,
  • Arduino Uno with Ultimate Voice Changer Arduino shield & 9V battery,
  • Microphone and usb rechargeable JBL speaker,
  • Drumpants controller and sensors,
  • 4 usb rechargeable JBL speakers for Drumpants playback,
  • Arduino Uno with Adafruit Trellis Monochrome Driver PCB for 4×4 keypad,
  • Silicon button cover for keypad, and
  • Diffused blue 3mm LED’s for Trellis keypad.
“My involvement with Make Fashion has given me the opportunity to travel and showcase my work in venues outside of traditional entertainment. Having the support of Make Fashion has enabled me to create and develop costume and fashion tech that otherwise would never have seen the light.”

– Angela Dale

The Team

Designer – Angela Dale

Angela Dale is a costume designer, educator and artist based in Black Diamond, Alberta, Canada who likes to make magic with fabric.

Her work on numerous film, dance and theatrical productions has led to creating performative costumes that incorporate a mix of traditional techniques and modern technology.


Dancer – Christina Robertson

Christina Robertson is currently an artist with Trip the Light Dance and Performing Company and has had the opportunity to perform at various events in Alberta, including MakeFashion and Soulocentric Showcase.


On The Runway

Ex Machina | Designer: Angela Dale | Model: Christina Robertson | Photography: Jeff McDonald

Ex Machina | Designer: Angela Dale | Model: Christina Robertson | Photography: Jeff McDonald

MakeFashion fuses wearable technology with high fashion. Interested in more information, showcasing this piece, or media images? Please contact info@makefashion.ca