FASHION FIX: THE SMART INNOVATIONS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

FASHION FIX: THE SMART INNOVATIONS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT

The global smart fabrics market is projected to reach $5.5bn by 2022, according to a recent report by Transparency Market Research, with the sector set to undergo a segmentation based on products, applications and functions. In terms of application, fashion is one of the key industries where smart fabrics could be incorporated and help lead the growth of the market. While players in the industry might feel like the conversation around getting the convergence of fashion and technology right has been going on for ages (and it really has!) without much change, we have actually come a long way since the dawn of fashion tech circa 2004. The smart creatives have realised that fashion tech pieces are not merely a light up dress (although there’s nothing wrong with a bit of sparkle). Similarly, engineers have understood the importance of how products look and feel, making design a fundamental part of the product creation process instead of an after thought. Lastly, and arguably the most exciting part, is that some fashion tech pieces have made their way to the consumer market, as opposed to staying confined to the real of performance art, reserved for celebrities and the runway only. With that in mind, we decided to round up some the most stylish and functional products on the market. Emel + Aris Smart Coat London-based brand Emel+Aris has created the world’s first luxury smart coat by using revolutionary heat technology. The coat, which is available for both men and women, lets the wearer control the temperature with three heat settings, which can be activated at the touch of a button. The...
MEET YIYU CHEN, THE TAIWANESE DESIGNER MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY

MEET YIYU CHEN, THE TAIWANESE DESIGNER MAKING WAVES IN THE INDUSTRY

You’d be forgiven if you haven’t heard of Yiyu Chen.. yet. But not for long. The Taichung-based designer, who’s just won Denmark’s first fashion technology competition, Aarhus Walks on Water, says she’s has always been interested in clothing but this was her first time integrating technology into her work. “Fashion for me is appealing in both substance and significance level. I really enjoy the process of making each piece of garments, taking care of details and trying to present them in a proper way. On the other hand, the fact that fashion is always evolving with society and reflecting civilized life, make it a difficult task for a designer to be always relevant. There’s always something to learn.”   While this might have been the first time Chen has solely worked with tech, her work experience includes working alongside the legendary Iris Van Herpen – undoubtedly one of the trailblazers in the industry. “To work in Iris Van Herpen’s atelier was very challenging but with a lot of fun. Sometimes we need to experiment with different materials and try to figure out how to achieve the ideal results. Iris is really calm and friendly; I truly respect that she always knows what she wants and has a clear standard of quality. The experience taught me a lot on how a designer should insist and persist during design and producing process, the amazing results on Iris’s show coming with no accident. This experience makes me more open to any challenge and willing to cooperate with people in different fields.” As part of the AWOW competition, designers were tasked with creating...
EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

EVENT RECAP | FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY

Two months after we had first met the designers shortlisted for Festival of Curiosity’s studio residency, it was time to shine. The Chocolate Factory had been transformed from their usual work space to a full blown runway and guests were taking their seats in excitement, probably just as much as the designers and models backstage. Through their residency, the creatives – Ally Nolan, Maureen Sellina Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Roisin Pierce – explored how new technologies can be integrated into fashion design. Each of the designers presented their unique vision of fashion and technology, which is why the jury (including our own Kristina Dimitrova), had an incredible difficult task of choosing a single winner. After much debate and discussion, the Future Fashion Design prize was awarded to TCD Master student Ally Nolan for her piece The Queen of the Night. See below the magnificent pieces from all six designers and the inspiration behind them. Ally Nolan – The Queen of the Night (Overall Winner; Most Creative Use of Technology) Design inspired by 18th-century crinolines and 1950s Dior; The 800 petals are laser cut at different depths, making the neoprene fabric semi transparent. When they are back lit with LED lights the detail on each petal is illuminated. Topped with a sheer mesh black bodice and a beret composed of battery powered petals. Maureen Laverty – Where’s my Arm Hole / My Head’s Stuck (Best Design Process) Organic jersey garments that interact with each other through sensors made using conductive fabric and stitching. The integrated pressure and stretch sensors between the top garments change the intensity and...
WEARABLE X LAUNCHES SMART YOGA PANTS

WEARABLE X LAUNCHES SMART YOGA PANTS

After announcing Nadi X in 2016 – activated yoga apparel with embedded technology – fashion technology studio Wearable X has just unveiled that people can now get their hands on a pair of the product. Nadi X is the first direct-to-consumer item from Wearable X, which has previously worked on branded projects such as Durex Fundawear and the Fox Alert Shirt. Using vibrational feedback, the pants guide the wearer towards accurate yoga poses. Nadi X have the ability to identify the pose the wearer is in and then provide real time feedback through gentle pulses that draw awareness to the focal points of each pose. The pants work with a companion iPhone app (with 30 poses and playlists to accompany them) and a battery, called the “Pulse”, which people have to clip behind the upper left knee in order to power the sensations in the pants. The frequency and intensity of each vibration rhythm encourage how to orient the body in each pose. Billie Whitehouse, co-founder and CEO of Wearable X shares that her team worked with more than 50 yogis across three different continents to understand the importance of alignment in time and space and create a useful product. While Nadi X cater for both beginners and pros, current price of $299 is likely to attract mainly serious yoga lovers at first. Still, the cost feels reasonable for technology embedded activewear. And when you compare Nadi’s price to the cost of hiring private a yoga instructor (which can be between $150 and $200 per hour), the offering sounds appealing. Nadi X should be the only guide you need for...
HOW FARFETCH IMAGINES THE STORE OF THE FUTURE

HOW FARFETCH IMAGINES THE STORE OF THE FUTURE

Earlier this year Farfetch, the leading ecommerce platform to shop the world’s greatest selection of luxury, announced its first conference – FarfetchOS – with the aim to drive change, demonstrate innovation, and revolutionise the future of luxury fashion. On 12th April, brands, retailers and press gathered in London’s iconic Design Museum to hear from key Farfetch figures such as founder José Neves and recently joined Dame Natalie Massenet about what the future of luxury may hold. In between the sessions, attendees got a tour of Farfetch’s Store of the Future, showing what the ecommerce unicorn has in store (pun intended). Store of the Future is a modular platform, or an operating system, if you like, where Farfetch will tailor technology solutions to each of its partner brands, each city and each store, humanising the retail experience, delivering personalisation to customers and empowering store staff. The BETA version of the Store of the Future, shown at the Design Museum, demonstrated how technology can be seamlessly woven into the customer experience and deliver a significant competitive advantage to retailers and brands. During the tour we were shown four key facets of the BETA Store of the Future experience. Each of them was chosen to show what will happen if you bring online data into a physical environment. Customer recognition: Farfetch has developed a universal log in so that consumers can actively ‘opt-in’ to data sharing to enhance their current and future shopping experiences across the store they are in and the Farfetch platform.  In the BETA example, Farfetch showed how a customer might use a QR code to enable identity recognition as...
HOW BRAGI IS CAPTURING THE HEARABLES MARKET

HOW BRAGI IS CAPTURING THE HEARABLES MARKET

If, for a moment, we leave the world of smart textiles and interactive garments, we’ll see that in the wearables tech industry, a lot of businesses are still focusing on smart watches, fitness trackers and other wrist-based devices. But there’s another player in the field, which has been quietly establishing domination. Hearables. Hearables, or connected ear-worn devices, can mean different things, from wireless earbuds to smart hearing aid devices. Such products were at prominent display at this year’s CES and, perhaps due to the reveal of Apple’s jack-less iPhone, the category is growing over eight times the rate of wrist-worn devices. Apart from Apple, there are a few players in the field trying to capture the consumer market, with one of the top being Bragi. Bragi started in 2014, with a Kickstarter that raised $3 million from 15,998 supporters, all of whom fantasised about a “smart” wireless earphone that could store music, track fitness, health and so much more. As a result, in 2016 Bragi released its first product, The Dash – smart, wireless earbuds that are for much more than just listening to music. Forget buttons. The Dash can be controlled through gestures such as nodding to accept a phone call or shaking to decline it. The earbuds are compatible with a smartphone app that lets you personalise them even further. It visualises the features of The Dash, showing your fitness status, heart rate, calories burnt, distance traveled and more. The ear is a better place than the wrist for collecting certain biometric data, which makes Bragi perfectly positioned to service the active, connected consumer of today. If...