Anyone who has ever woken up after a long night out has almost certainly taken one look at their outfit and wished for dirt resistant, or at least, self-cleaning clothes. Indefinable marks, a horrible smell and the feeling that you are going to have to use antiseptic to clean them if you ever want to to wear them again. It somehow does not seem very modern. Thankfully the textile industry is slowly moving into the high-tech age. The best example of this is the Nelumbo collection of Hamburg designer Heike Hüning. The concept behind her functional clothing is inspired by the beautiful Lotus plant, which 'lives' in mud but always stays clean. To thank for this property is the special microscopic structure of the leaves' surface. Water repelling wax crystals ensure that liquids or dirt particles do not stick to the surface but are instead washed away. In cooperation with BASF AG the designer is currently working on translating these biological skills into a reality for textiles. The collection should cover the areas of comfort, protection and an orientation towards the future, while at the same time remaining aesthetically current. "We are still currently in the development phase, but I am convinced that it won't be much longer until this innovation is a reality" explained the 35 year-old designer and trained tailor. "Despite great efforts, the commercial breakthrough of self-cleaning textiles, to which nanotechnology plays an important part, has not happened yet" explains Dr. Michael Schmitt of BASF. He adds: "However, progress will make cost-effective production methods of lotus-type textile surfaces possible in future, and strongly change our consumption habits of textiles". The Lotus Effect can be used in everyday clothes just the same as outdoor or sports clothes. Heike Hüning, who among other things, has completed internships at Jil Sander, Bogner, Windsor and Gore, has been fascinated by so-called intelligent fibres from very early on. The initial idea of their beneficial applications came on a film job: "I was on a shoot where it rained the whole time. A large part of the crew was not prepared for this extreme kind of weather, and I thought to myself, 'there must be something that can be done about this." And so, saying this, she developed the Media Jacket in cooperation with W.L. Gore & Associates GmbH, and with Fuchs & Schmitt GmbH. With a multitude of practical extras, this all-weather jacket has been perfected to the needs of the film and television industry. The use of GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER® -3- layered-laminate guarantees breathability, insulation and protection against the wind. In the nine roomy outside-pockets, equipment long thought lost can just as likely be magically found again. Other features such as loops with integrated glove clips are already making the jobs of many cameramen and producers much easier. For anybody who is not a part of the wonderful world of broadcasting and television can, for the admittedly not cheap price of €479, use the jacket for a whole range of outdoor activities. And for all those described above, who are also at home on the dance floor and in dingy, smoky dives, it means there is still a long wait. Nanotechnology will set it right.