Australian scientists have come up with the ultimate cocktail dress: it's made from red wine, smells like red wine and might even last longer if red wine is spilled on it.
The fabric is actually the papery mould that forms on the top of wine vats when oxygen finds its way in.
To form the dress, the wet, sludgy cellulose is patted onto an inflatable doll and allowed to partially dry out. Deflate the doll, and the finished dress comes away.
"It's the bacteria that are weaving all these fibres together," researcher Gary Cass explained. "We're not using any machines, sewing machines or so forth."
Cass, from the University of Western Australia, said any variety of wine would do, or even spirits or beer. "As long as we have alcohol, these bacteria will do their job," Cass told national broadcaster ABC.
Up next is a project to polymerize the gossamer material to make it strong and stretchy. But before fashionistas beat a path to door, a knotty problem needs to be sorted out. For the dress to stay on, Cass cautions it needs to be constantly damp. Let the fabric dry out and it's as easy to tear as tissue paper.