Fashion and technology. One is warm and soft, another one is cold and sharp. However, these two go together better than bread and cheese. Read on to discover innovation in fashion
When we think about wearable technology, the first thing to come to mind is still wrist devices or fitness trackers. Even though they do serve a good purpose, not everyone thinks they’re cool enough for them. Whether we accept it or not, fashion impacts each and every life, daily. But, what is the future of fashion? What direction is it going in? The answer seems to be – Fashion Tech.
What does Fashion Tech mean?
Fashion Tech is technology that enables a fashion experience when you wear it or interact with it. It is also the newest addition to innovation in fashion. It might sound futuristic, but fashion tech is actually already conquering the world of fashion, retail and innovation. Some of the biggest brands are currently working on wearable technology that is also nice to look at. Here are some of the examples that will start a domino effect when it comes to innovation in Fashion Tech.
Levi’s and Google: Project Jacquard
At first glance, it might look like a typical Levi’s jacket, but this jacket is far from being typical. Look a little closer and you will see an error in the denim wave. The error is actually where fashion meets technology in form of a conductive yarn that enables touch interactivity.
“Last year we left it quite open what the product might be; it could have been jeans or smart pants. But what we’ve now got is a functional and fashionable garment in the Commuter Jacket, where technology is serving a very clear purpose,” explains Ivan Poupyrev, technical program lead at Google’s ATAP.
The jacket is specifically designed to meet the needs of urban cyclists. Technology allows users to change music, answer calls or access navigation (by swiping or holding on the left cuff of the sleeve. The strap is what holds the necessary electronics to connect garment on the go.
The Unseen for Selfridges
We can really talk innovation in fashion when it comes to Lauren Bowker, the fashion alchemist,. The Unseen is a London-based start up that succeeded with a concept of colors that are changing based on the user interaction or the environment they are placed in.
The Unseen by Selfridges, was a collection of luxury accessories which included a backpack, scarf, phone case and more. These items respond to air pressure, touch and body temperature – even the sunlight and wind. For instance, an alligator-skin bag saw environmentally responsive ink switching from black in the winter, to red in the spring, blue in the summer and green fading to red in the autumn.
Much of the innovation in fashion tech never made it to the market. However, The Unseen by Selfridges is one of the successful creations.
Studio XO is a London based fashion-tech company known for its blowing designs for pop stars and artists. One of their most known designs is a Bubelle dress that changes colors depending on the wearer’s mood. Bubelle dress was made by Studio XO’s Nancy Tilbury in a collaboration with Phillips.
Seeing the possibilities of the Bubelle dress, TechHaus, the technical division of Haus of Gaga, initiated a collaboration on a series of dresses for Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP campaign.
The series consisted 4 different designs: a 3D printed bubble machine dress called Anemone, a Jeff Koons inspired design called the Parametric Sculpture Dress. Furthermore, the Cipher piece blew everyone’s minds with its animated black mirrors. So did the Volantis, a dress that literally takes flight.
The company has gained a reputation for these couture pieces and now seek to bring fashion tech to the masses. This means revolutionizing the way fashion is worn.
“Companies like Studio XO creating blueprints and expectations for future ways of living will have an effect of driving a new generation of innovators. We’re very interested in illustrating a way of making these kind of things happen,” said Benjamin Males, a co-founder of Studio XO.
AR and Makeup
Meanwhile, in the makeup industry, MAC is going hard for being at the forefront of technological advancements. Launching an Augmented Reality (AR) mirror in some of their shops. The mirror is able to “apply” makeup to your reflection, making it possible to try on those glossy pink eyeshadows on a Tuesday afternoon without looking utterly misplaced afterward. The producer, ModiFace, is looking to move these smart mirrors into the homes of people. Now all we need is a virtual makeup assistant to make the package complete
Fashion and technology will inevitably become one and innovation in fashion will never be the same. The technology world is obsessed with fashion and the fashion world can definitely reciprocate the feelings. Levi’s, The Unseen and Studio XO aren’t alone when it comes to making the world fall in love with what is possible when you mix fashion and technology. What started with Apple’s smart watches has come a long way.
You know we’re talking future when Chanel’s, Karl Lagerfeld expressed his love for tech by experimenting with partially 3D printed pieces. Meanwhile, American fashion designer, Zac Posen, worked with IBM’s supercomputer to create a dress that changes colors based on social media activity.
It’s time to think outside the box – Innovation in fashion has taken a turn and now the world is waiting for the next big thing. It’s an understatement to say the future looks bright and colorful.
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