In this digital age, as technology gets faster and devices grow smaller, fashion designers are taking advantage to create clothes that harness innovation.
Fashion designer Amy Winters, is one of many utilising this technology to include in her collection Rainbow Winters.
“I have a Thunderstorm dress that illuminates and reacts to sound (clapping, singing, screaming). The dress is powered by an electroluminescent panel and a sound sensor. The input triggers the illumination on the dress.” Ms Winters talked about her bathing suit to The Newsroom and how it reacts to sunlight, “Through a special printed ink (a photochromic ink). This ink is UV sensitive and changes colours in response to UV light. The stronger the UV light the stronger the colour. These are examples of our first experimentations with technology and fashion.”
“Currently, the wearable tech market is in its infancy,” she said. “I also think smart watches and tech accessories will have their moment and then evolve into something more interesting. Right now they don’t offer us anything apart from an extension of our current gadgets re-worked into an ‘on-body’ format. Once the technology becomes part of the textile and is soft, flexible and comfortable then we will start to see the killer applications!”
She also expressed her belief that “the commercialisation of technology into the manufacturing process, is a practical problem”.
“The language of fashion/tech is a bit of a barrier for the fashion industry. The fashion industry tends to take a conservative approach because they need to make money, which comes first. This means they need an easy-to-manufacture approach and the fash-tech market is not quite there yet.”
Even if the tech market hasn’t developed, sport smart garments are on their way. Men’s fashion brand Ralph Lauren debuted a tech-infused tennis shirt that monitors heart rate, breathing and stress levels on ball boys at this year’s US Open.
“Everyone is exploring wearable tech watches and headbands and looking at cool sneakers,” David Lauren told The New York Times. When the brand’s high-tech shirt was first revealed, “We skipped to what we thought was new, which is apparel. We live in our clothes.”
Uniforms for work, school and sports now feature thermal technology to keep us warm and comfortable during winter.
Oz Fashions features an array of uniforms using thermal technology. “The thermal technology that Oz Fashions use is important for the everyday lives of industrial and corporate workers as well as the general public,” Sid Arida, an Oz Fashions manager, told The Newsroom. “Not only does the material provide protection and comfort through the use of insulating material, but jackets reflect light particles to make it visible in the dark.
“I absolutely believe that there is a future for cool dry technology or any technology that will protect you from harsh environmental weather, it will be a staple in the wardrobe of everyday people. A lot of my industrial uniforms features UV technology that repel the sun 100 per cent and even when you wear dresses or corporate wear, the material will deodorise with the use of cool dry technology and also keep you warm with the use of thermal technology.”
Uniqlo, a unisex fashion brand originating in Japan, is another company incorporating technology in materials to help regulate body temperature. – Nadya Joun
Top screenshot from Amy Winters’ Facebook page