Coco Chanel once said: ‘Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.' It was only a matter of time, then, before fashion met tech…
From WiFi to wardrobes; computers to clothing; mobiles to mannequins: can you honestly imagine a world where technology and fashion don’t exist?
The two have always gone hand in hand; who knows what glum rags we’d be wearing nowadays were it not for the humble sewing machine and other such devices. But never has the relationship between the pair been quite so, ahem, seamless, or so closely interwoven, as it is right now.
This developing bond between science and style is as subtle as it is advanced, to the point where the act of keeping up with the latest tech releases and staying on top of each season’s sartorial trends will increasingly begin to merge.
Read on to find out why, and how, with our top picks of tech in fashion…
What it is: Virtual Reality for fashion shows
Who’s doing it: Elle teamed up with 7 For All Mankind to shoot a close-up, 360 degree look at its spring collection. INITION was also approached by Topshop to develop a VR catwalk in order to share its LFW show with a wider audience.
Why we love it: Unless you’re Anna Wintour, one half of Kimye, or any other VIP that’s deemed worthy of a seat, chances are you won’t get a chance to grace the FROW during this lifetime. But at least now you can imagine what it’s like.
What it is: Wearable tech
Who’s doing it: Kovert Designs’ jewelry alerts you to calls, texts and social media notifications (but only the ones you want to know about) with subtle vibrations. Ralph Lauren’s biometric t-shirts, on the other hand, can track distance, calories burned and much more.
Why we love it: Frees you up to concentrate on the task at hand, either while you’re on the go, at dinner, or working out.
What it is: Smart watches
Who’s doing it: Intel and Fossil have announced a joint venture for style savvy customers, and Samsung joined forces with Swarovski to make a bling yet techy timepiece. And then there’s the much-publicized launch of Apple’s latest launch, of course.
Why we love it: Seems super handy, but only time will tell.
What it is: 3D printing in fashion
Who’s doing it: Architect-turned-digital fashion pioneer, Francis Bitoni created a 3D-printed dress for Dita von Teese. Roberta Lucca’s startup, Wonderluk, also promises to take customized 3D-printed jewelry mainstream.
Why we love it: From materials to production and distribution, this is about to shake up the fashion industry – and we can’t wait to see the results.
What it is: Illuminated garments
Who’s doing it: For his catwalk show at LFW, Richard Nicoll collaborated with London-based fashion and technology company, Studio XO to create a chic, vibrant dress made from fibreoptic fabric embedded with micro LED lights. Absolut also worked with Studio XO to create outfits made of wirelessly controlled lasers and mirrors for our party in the jungle. As you do.
Why we love it: Finally, we can be that person who lights up the room when they walk in.
What it is: Intelligent mirrors
Who’s doing it: Inside Burberry’s flagship stores in London, Hong Kong and Chicago, the mirrors double up as screens allowing customers to imagine what they’d look like in all kinds of scenarios – including as the star of a catwalk show – when trying on outfits. The sound effects featured also add to the experience.
Why we love it: Changing room mirrors have never been ultra-inspiring, or very forgiving for that matter – but these could make clothes shopping fun. Yes, FUN.
What it is: Fitbot mannequins
Who’s doing it: Young start-up company, Fits.me has created robotic mannequins which shoppers can use to try items on virtually and, in a few clicks, find the size that’s right for them.
Why we love it: Not only can you try on clothes from your own sofa, but you can also avoid the crushing experience of not being able to zip up a pair of trousers.
What it is: High fashion Google Glass
Who’s doing it: Last year, Diane Von Furstenburg gave Google Glass a stylish (and much-needed) makeover, transforming them from unsightly specs to fashionable frames that add a new dimension to your day-to-day reality.
Why we love it: A real sight for sore eyes – these are geek chic at its best.