AWOW PUTS DENMARK ON THE FASHIONTECH MAP

AWOW PUTS DENMARK ON THE FASHIONTECH MAP

Danish design is known all around the world and the country has been a leader in the field for decades. In a natural step for Denmark’s progressive design thinking, we will soon see the city of Aarhus carving its spot in the fashiontech scene through Aarhus Walks on Water – a weekend of activities covering the intersection of fashion and technology, all of which are free to attend and open to the public. The event is a collaboration between Aarhus University, VIA University College, Headstart Fashion and the festival at Filmby Aarhus / Interactive Denmark, with the concept developed by professor Marianne Ping Huang, Lene Elsner and fashion designer Gitte Søgaard. This spring Aarhus Walks on Water staged an open call for designers to take part in the first fashion technology competition in Denmark. After careful consideration, eight international design teams were chosen, paired with regional fashion companies and tasked with the challenge to recreate four of the companies’ own styles with a fashiontech twist. The final pieces will be showcased at a spectacular floating runway on the city’s harbour. Aarhus Walks on Water is the first of its kind when it comes to collaboration between the fashion, business and educational partners. The big night will see the winning team leaving with a prize of €10,000 awarded by a team of international jury members including our own Kristina Dimitrova, Radr founder Preben Meyer and Elektro Couture fashion tech designer in residence Joanna Hir. By the looks of the initial designer sketches (see some of them below), it’s going to be one hell of a show!   Beyond the AWOW...
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...
INTERVIEW | JONATHAN RAYSON

INTERVIEW | JONATHAN RAYSON

Designer Jonathan Rayson is a mix. A mix reflecting different countries, industries and crafts. He spent his formative years living, studying and working over three continents (Europe/North America/South-East Asia), where he followed music as his first passion until becoming ‘disillusioned and depressed with it [music]. Since I enjoyed working with my hands and knew of the financial rewards which would follow it, I took on a working apprenticeship in mechanical engineering with a large company in the oil and gas sector.’ Quite the jump, you might think, but Rayson says he looks at this as one of the founding developments for where he is today. After five years in mechanical engineering and upon meeting a future business partner Rayson had launched his own US based denim brand within a year and with no vocational background in fashion. ‘At the very beginning I was practically self-taught, but I had a fervent passion to learn.’ Shortly after he enrolled into a local fashion tech school, which set him up in good stead for where the designer is today. This year, Rayson graduated from the prestigious Central St Martin’s. As he sets sights on launching his own brand and design studio, we caught up with Jonathan to talk more about the unlikely but surprisingly pleasing merge or engineering, fashion and design. What’s keeping you busy right now? I’m currently working on my first ready to wear collection, along with a small range of specialty made to order “demi-couture” pieces. I anticipate that these will be available and in stores early next year, assuming all goes smoothly. Essentially this will be my core...
INTERIVEW | JOANNA DAI, DAI WEAR FOUNDER

INTERIVEW | JOANNA DAI, DAI WEAR FOUNDER

‘We were born out of a love for style and a need for function, a call for quality and an understanding for value,’ reads Dai Wear’s website. ‘We are fast-moving and forward-thinking, and we want to be empowered by ease and authenticity.’ It might sound like quite an ambitious goal for a brand that’s just launched but, glance over its website and you’ll see the startup wants to put its money where its mouth is. Dai Wear, launched in late July 2017, creates clothes for the professional working woman by combining performance fabrics, elegant tailoring and honest premium quality. By selling directly to consumers, the brand is able to maintain designer quality at contemporary price points, with pieces ranging from $175 to $475. Many of the pieces also are constructed with Italian sourced and patented Sensitive® Fabrics, and raw materials are Oeko-Tex® and/or REACH certified wherever possible. Beyond technical-meets-tailoring pieces, Dai advocates for sustainability and social impact. “Beyond just products, I had the vision of a brand that served as a community for women and a platform for more consciously sustainable practices,” says Joanna Dai, founder and creative director of the brand. Dai Wear has partnered with Dress for Success Greater London, a chapter of the global non-profit organisation that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools. A portion of net proceeds from Dai sales will be donated to Dress for Success Greater London. With all founding elements in place and a successful launch, we caught up with Joanna to hear more about why she started the brand,...
FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY BRINGS FASHIONTECH TO DUBLIN

FESTIVAL OF CURIOSITY BRINGS FASHIONTECH TO DUBLIN

If you follow us on Instagram you might have seen that back in May we met with a group of aspiring designers in Dublin for a day of talks, knowledge-exchange and overall good vibes. For these six girl bosses, the hangout actually marked the start of Festival of Curiosity’s Future Fashion competition. Since then, the designers have been working tirelessly on their vision of the future of fashion, which will culminate in a fusion of fashion and technology showcase later this month. Now in its fifth year, Festival of Curiosity is Dublin’s celebration of science, tech, art and design where the focus is cross-collaboration, learning and having fun along the way. This year saw the launch of the Curiosity Studio – a design and research residency programme – which for this year’s edition focuses on the exploration of fashion and technology. Six outstanding designers were chosen after a casting call to work in the studio on the theme of Illuminations, from Darkness to Light. During their residency the creatives received mentorship and guidance from a number of organisations and individuals including Make Fashion Canada, INTERLACED, The British Council in Ireland and CONNECT. It didn’t take long after meeting Ally Nolan, Maureen-Seline Laverty, Rebecca Marsden, Danielle Jordan, Dearbhla O’Beirne and Rosin Pierce to see that they weren’t just interested in creating just another illuminated dress. The way they want to approach fashion and technology looks at how it can improve people’s lives, contribute positively to the environment and empower women. Laverty, for example, started her career at Alexander McQueen and Savile Row but wanted to use her apparel construction techniques...
EVENT RECAP | WEAR IT BERLIN

EVENT RECAP | WEAR IT BERLIN

What does the future of fashion look like? How can technology on our body support our work environment? How do designers and technologists can work better together? These and many more questions arose at Wear It Festival in Berlin. Now in its third year, the event brought together 400 attendees, 40 speakers and 30 exhibitors to discuss the impact of technology on our industry. With more than 102 million wearables sold in 2016 alone and projections forecasting 220 million in 2020, it’s clear that this is not just a fad. That said, we have reached a time where the consumer is not wowed by yet another fitness tracker, however good-looking it might be. But that’s not to say data doesn’t have a role to play. ‘We have to recognise the importance of data in the fashion industry,’ said award winning serial entrepreneur and author Sabine Seymour upon debuting her new company Supa.ai. The startup aims to turn your garments into IoT devices by developing a system of connected workout garments paired with an app. By using artificial intelligence, Supa becomes your personal AI, growing with your moves, diet and condition. It analyses what you put in and suggests recommendations tailored to the individual. Elsewhere, we looked at how technology can evoke emotional in fashion. ‘Fashion’s killer app is emotion,’ said Amanda Parkes, Chief Innovation Officer at Fashion Tech Lab. The thought was echoed by FIA’s Matthew Drinkwater, who pointed to FIA’s collaboration with Richard Nicoll as an example where technology contributes to the aesthetic, rather than the function of the final product. Parkes also addressed the fast-fashion phenomenon and...