Fashion for the Digital Age

Trend. Latest thing. In vogue. Faddism. Chic. Style. In thing. Fashion. Taking your creativity and turning it into something stylish or creating the latest must-have fashion. Already technology is helping to shape this creativity, everything from wearable technology, 3D printed dresses and accessories, smart fabrics to shoes.

Technology is already transforming the fashion industry and there maybe no denying that the technological world is obsessed with fashion. Inevitably fashion and technology may arguably become one. Throughout history technology has enabled us to create everything from Da Vinci’s use of the camera obscura to Caravaggio’s work with mirrors and lenses.  There are many benefits that technology offers not just to the artistic world but also the world of fashion in terms of creativity.

Some of the familiar names in technology firms such as Google, Amazon and Apple are all striving to shape their names in the fashion space. The Apple Watch or their version of the smartwatch, a stylish wearable device that is more than a mere accessory to the smartphone. Google with conductive fabrics or smart fabrics that are embedded into a Levi’s smart jacket using Project Jacquard. Amazon with their online fashion and clothing platform and Amazon Echo Look which incorporates voice-controlled cameras for fashion tips and introduces Style Check where you get style advice from fashion specialists on which outfit looks best on you based on fit, color, styling, and current trends.

Fashion for the digital age where there exists mutual respect from fashion designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s creative director, who has expressed his love for technology by experimenting with partially 3D-printed pieces using Materialise 3D printing technologies. Francesca Rosella, creative director at CuteCircuit a London based wearable technology clothing company, who created the worlds first haute couture Twitter Dress. American fashion designer Zac Posen, with some help from fashion house Marchesa, worked with IBM’s Watson supercomputer to create a cognitive dress that lights up and changes colors based on activity on social media. Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, who weaves cutting-edge technology with couture craftsmanship, and was one of the first to send 3D printed garment down the runway.

Weaving with cutting edge technology. Haute couture meets technology. Technology has already had an impact on the fashion industry. Will this sort of technology ever catch on? It really depends on what you think about fashion. Fashion can be seen as art, to others its just stuff to wear. Other times it can be a mind boggling craft and technique that renders the fashion as art question open to debate.

It does seem that high-tech fashion is starting to become more than just a gimmick and the line between the two is beginning to soften. The idea of  3D printing your own clothes or shoes at home is not such a far fetched idea after all. Designer Danit Peleg produced her entire fashion collection using 3D home printers and she sells her 3D printed garments online. Feetz who produce custom fit 3D printed shoes and where ordering is done online and where customers can download an app, take smartphone snapshots of their feet and create a 3-D model. They are just examples of how this technology is changing the way products are ordered, made and sold. This might not necessarily be a breakthrough in fashion but it’s only a matter of time before these sort of technologies are both useful and accessible to everyone.

Fashion to some may seem intangible – it gives us peace of mind or happiness, makes us feel good about ourselves. Fashion is a measure of choice – we choose what we want to wear. We choose how we want to look. We should be able to choose the technologies that we want to be embedded in our clothes and without being just another gimmick and where these technologies are not dependent on other devices. Combining technology and fashion may still seem like a science fiction fantasy but it’s starting to become a reality and it’s clear that technology and fashion companies are already starting to work together and bringing us one step closer to this reality.


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