From Diane Von Furstenburg’s new designs for Google Glass to Tory Burch designing fashionable jewelry to disguise fit-bits, wearables are evolving into products that are just as much about fashion as they are function.
Recent high-profile events have highlighted the way technology influences design. At the US Open, ball boys wore Ralph Lauren’s new Smart Shirts, which measured breathing and heart rate data. Sensors in the shirts delivered real time to blue-tooth connected smartphones.
One of the biggest fashion-industry events of the year, New York Fashion Week is embracing technology like never before.
iPhone Controlled Mini-Skirts
CuteCircuit is a designer known for high tech fashion. In 2006 they debuted The Hug Shirt which allows the wearer to send hugs long distance using sensors and Bluetooth technology to another person wearing The Hug Shirt. They were also the designers behind Nicole Scherzinger’s Twitter Dress, which displayed Tweets in real time using #tweetthedress.
CuteCircuit showed their new Ready to Wear Collection at New York Fashion Week.The collection features skirts, jackets and accessories which are all controlled by an iPhone app. Models on the runway controlling LED displays on their clothes from the phone in their hand.
Dresses Enhanced by 3D Glasses
Designer, Rebecca Minkoff, ended her show with five looks that required 3D glasses for the full experience. Attendees were provided with the 3D glasses, which also came with instructions “Take part in a unique 3D experience by putting on your glasses for the final 5 looks.” The dresses were beautiful on their own, but the 3D glasses added a sheen to the pattern.
Rebecca Minkoff also used New York Fashion Week to debut a collection of fashionable smart bracelets. The “Notification Bracelet” discreetly alerts wearers of calls and texts. The “Lighting Cable Bracelet” has a USB connection to charge devices on the go. Neither bracelet looks like it is enhanced by technology.
My Intelligent Communication Accessory (MICA)
Opening Ceremony and Intel collaborated to created a high-end bracelet. Unlike other wearables, which require a smartphone to sync with, MICA operates on its own using 3G capabilities. The bracelets notify the wearer of texts, but remain fashionable by including precious stones.
For wearable technology to succeed, brands musty think about both the fashion and function side of the device. As the market for these devices grows, expect to see more collaborations between tech companies and fashion designers.
Photo Credits: CuteCircuit, Kansas.com and Rebecca Minkoff