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...
NEW TALENT SHINES AT GRADUATE FASHION WEEK

NEW TALENT SHINES AT GRADUATE FASHION WEEK

The 26th Graduate Fashion Week showcased some fantastic talent throughout the whole exhibition and the Gala catwalk. In current times, we question the importance of fashion and there was notably respectful reference to the recent tragic events by the chairman Mark Newton-Jones and also reminders about considerate design by judges such as Vivienne Westwood over the VT. Maybe the current socio-political backdrop is a real-life context fuelling greater creativity. The biggest trend seeming like a protest against the darkness, including literal slogans but also bold vibrant colours and big statement shapes which dominated the collections and the crossover cultural references. The diversity and mish mash of colours, prints, textures, silhouettes across menswear and womenswear felt dynamic and skillfully brave. Image: Bushra Burge This colourful cacophony across the catwalk was interspersed with one or two more classic and commercial collections and indeed Laura Capello, Bath Spa University, with her tailored pieces won the George – Catwalk to Store Award. Particularly exciting was the collection by Maddie Williams, Edinburgh College of Art which won the Catwalk Textiles Award. It was created from weaving plastic bags and was inspired by ‘Goddess-type figures who are here to serve as the antithesis of the Elitist White Supremacist Capitalist Patriarchy and strike fear into the hearts of harmful Corporations’. This year there was a new Mothercare Childrenswear Award won by the heartwarmingly enthusiastic Catherine Watts, University of Salford. Finally the most coveted awards : Christopher Bailey Gold Award and the brand new The Hilary Alexander Trailblazer Award in partnership with Swarovski Award celebrating innovation were both deservedly won by Halina North, Edinburgh College of Art....
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...