This process of “evolution in reverse”, of becoming human hybrids capable of living in the oceans, began with a dozen digitally printed dresses featuring images firstly from above sea level – roses and moths – before segueing into snakes – their amphibious nature suggesting a transition to water – and finally blue and purple images of ocean creatures such as stingrays, jellyfish and coral reefs. Such vivid rendering was made possible by new advances in ink-jet printing, which provided the opportunity to over-lay patterns of great complexity. Yet, the challenge lay in the construction: in weaving and engineering these prints so that all the patterns matched up with the design on every seam. This process was compounded by the varying properties of the fabrics used: fragile chiffons and taffeta, heavier woven jacquards, jersey and mohair. ‘Cut thread’ fil coupé satin organza, with its ability to fluctuate from a dense weave to a cobweb-like translucency and imbue the garments with an ethereal quality, proved particularly challenging.