How Fashion And Technology Impact Each Other
August 28, 2013
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Once upon a time, fashion and technology were only "just friends" — technological innovations were limited to weaving techniques or new colors and print displays.
Then computer-printing made it possible to create new looks, such as applying photorealism to fabrics. Now the whole field is heating up, with fashion and technology united in a wildly creative dance that blends fashion with function. Smart fabrics and designs can make clothing visually appealing and useful in a host of new ways.
It's hard to keep up with all the developments; now is a very exciting time, regardless of whether you are a fashion student or simply a fashion lover.
Celebrities Display Cutting-Edge, Wearable Art
Technology is helping fashionistas to express their style in new ways. Celebrities are showcasing the marriage of fashion and technology, such as:
- Dita Von Teese's 3-D printed dress. It was designed for the dancer/actress by New York designer Michael Schmidt and architect Francis Bitonti, mostly over Skype, using a system in which the material is formed, layer by layer, from a plastic powder using a laser. Although the resulting fabric was a rigid plastic, it was designed in a netted pattern for flexibility. Shapeways used a computer to craft the dress — which was embedded with 12,000 Swarovski crystals — to perfectly fit Von Teese's measurements.
- Katy Perry's light-up dress. The pop star made headlines after her appearance at the MET Costume Institute Gala, where a simple white dress turned into a light show that flashed with more than 3,000 LED lights.
- Nicole Scherzinger's tweet dress. Scherzinger, formerly a singer with the Pussycat Dolls, once walked the red carpet in a dress that encircled her with illuminated fan tweets right as they were posted.
Beyond Just "Looks"
With technology's help, fashion will take on new functions beyond expressing style. Embedded technology in clothing might even boost your health, with sensors monitoring your biometrics; sensors can also detect humidity and then "tell" the fabric's conductive fibers to release waterproof chemicals or adjust the weave to better insulate you from weather conditions.
Clothing can even take on a musical quality: Other examples of technology interwoven with fashion include shirts that become drums by producing percussive sounds and jeans with embedded keyboards. Researchers have proposed fabrics that can charge your smartphone via conductive cotton, or gloves that enable deaf and blind people to send text messages.
Fashion and technology are becoming inseparable, a union that will give designers new opportunities for looks and functions we previously never could have imagined. And with inventions and developments coming along fast, there is no telling what fashion will become in the near future!
Image source: Creative Commons