As one fashion week after another speeds by, my ADD is kicking in, and I am suddenly intrigued by a less talked about aspect of fashion – Tech Couture. From designer Manel Torres exploring the possibility of spray-on clothing, to the development of “smart” second skin clothing which has interactive fragrance technology permanently built into the clothing: examples include clothing and jewellery that release scents such as menthol, which could help alleviate medical problems including asthma attacks.
That science and fashion interact on such close front is exciting, and not just from an academic point of view. To break free from the current conventions of fabrics and silhouettes, and to be able to explore unthinkable dimensions, and through fashion!
All this isn’t some distant science fantasy. In fact, some of these innovations have already been seen on the runway. Hussein Chalayan’s 2008 collection featured LED dresses: a video dress displaying a time-lapsed image of a rose opening up and closing, with an array of colours and light, made possible by 15,000 LEDs embedded in the fabric. In 2007, Chalayan’s collection featured clothes that changed shape: zippers closing, cloth bunching and hemlines rising, with the assistance of micro-controllers, switches and motors.
Dresses changed shape as the audience gasped
If this is just the beginning, I can’t really wait to see what the future of Tech-couture will be!