Whether you’re new to wearable technology or not, you’re sure to find some inspirational fodder in this handy primer on the subject (above) from the smart folks at V2_, an interdisciplinary center for art and media in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The video gives an overview of the creative research and projects being conducted at V2_, many of which investigate how the interplay of technology and fashion can impact not only our sense of style, but our interactions with others.
The projects discussed include (in order of appearance):
INTIMACY. Designed by Daan Roosegaard Maartje Dijkstra, and Anouk Wipprecht
Intimacy White and Black. Photo: Robert Lunak
This duo of dresses is constructed out of a material that can turn transparent when electrified (commonly used as privacy glass in cars), and each challenges the concept of intimacy in interesting ways. While the white dress turns transparent when photographed, the black turns increasingly transparent as the viewer approaches the wearer. Both dresses call modern ideas of intimacy into question in provocative, flirtatious and, it goes without saying, stylish ways.
SHAREWEAR. Designed by Di Mainstone
Sharewear. Photo: Di Mainstone
The digital age is all about interaction and social relationships, and what better way to illustrate our newly networked, interconnected state than with a pair of dresses that literally link up together like puzzle pieces and interact with one another? When the dresses are connected, the lamps suspended overhead cast pools of light over the wearers, looking like glowing, futuristic pillbox hats.
PSEUDOMORPHS. Designed by Anouk Wipprecht
Pseudomorphs. Photo courtesy V2_
Taking the concepts of performance and interactivity to the next level, Pseudomorph dress is activated by the wearer and literally transforms before your eyes. Tubes attached to a neck piece funnel ink down through the fabric, causing a unique pattern to emerge every time—kind of like a dress version of a Rorschach test. The dress challenges notions of authorship and aesthetics in interesting ways by having the finishing touches of the dress design (i.e. the pattern) be the product of an automated, computer-controlled process.
BRAVO. Designed by Melissa Coleman
Bravo. Photo courtesy V2_
Though Bravo in its present incarnation isn’t technically wearable (it is a tapestry hung on the wall as a sound installation), the fabric could certainly be adapted for wear. The tapestry is created out of conductive thread that is sensitive to human touch. When a person touches the stitching, the tapestry sings song fragments. The tapestry design is actually constructed out of Braille, so the words of the songs can be read as well as heard.