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When the garment is your body

Linking Fashion – Fashion as Interface

This past week, Elon Musk once again amazed the world with the endless possibilities of a connection between the brain and our nervous system response with Neuralink, where BMI (Brain Machine Interface) will be utilized in the future to cure profoundly troublesome medical challenges such as restoring a person's vision, even in those who were born blind, and restore “full body functionality”, including movement and verbal communication, for people with severed spinal cords,

A parallel connection has been taking place since 2008 with fashion wearable items, where users have been able to sync many biomedical signals such as BPM (beats per minute), blood oxygenation, steps taken through the day, sleeping patterns, breathing patterns and nowadays even evaluation your mood.

In a world that seems ever changing, humanity looking for extra planetary habitation and fashion for stimuli cohabitating art and societies biggest challenges, it is possible to applaud the following designers that have devoted a lifetime of their work into facilitating these connections, in 3D printing, conductive yarns, or sensors linked to our brains.

Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht has been able to achieve exactly that.

With her numerous growing interests of designers in 3D printing technology is helping them to create complex shapes and original apparel pieces, as each design tends to be unique, personalized, and sustainable.

The Proximity Dress expands to create a barrier whenever it senses a person close to the wearer. The dress connects different sensors that can detect human movement in proximity. Inspired by the need of social distancing in recent times with the rise of viruses and other strains of COVID19, Wipprecht developed the idea in part through 3D printing using the SLS process as well as Poly Jet technology in manufacturing various components of the Proximity Dress.

Credits: Anouk Wipprecth

Israeli stylist Ganit Goldstein also used 3D printing in her first collection ‘Between the Layers’ that included seven garments and six pairs of shoes for combining multiple colors. Now the designer always starts her work with a 3D body scan to adjust her designs to a specific silhouette.

This Project examines the connection between technology and tradition through a combination of two creative worlds: handicrafts - Traditional weaving, and computer engineering - 3D design and printing.

This outfit is inspired by my expertise in the traditional weaving technique called IKAT, where unique patterns are created following the dyeing of the threads prior to the weaving process, by adding to the IKAT process 3D printing technology, The outcome combine Layer by Layer, human craft with Digital machine.

Materials: Cotton yarn, Digital printing, 3D printing in thermoplastic material.

3D printing technology also helps immensely in reducing waste, which is a challenge in fashion industry, especially in haute couture segment. In future, experts predict, the possession of a 3D printer can potentially transform the fashion industry not only to be more agile, personalized, and adaptive but also more sustainable too. One can simply take print out of the desired new looks on-demand. Once these are no more fashionable, they can be melted to create a new batch of clothes. This process will help one stay fresh style-wise and keep waste to a minimum, offering innovative solution to fashion’s problem of overproduction.

Credits: Ganit Goldstein

The Levi’s Commuter x Jacquard by Google Trucker Jacket is a piece of wearable technology designed for urban cyclists. Conductive yarn is weaved into the left cuff enabling touch interactivity so users can tap, swipe, or hold to fulfill simple tasks like changing music tracks, blocking, or answering calls or accessing navigation information (delivered by voice).

What’s stand out here however is that not only does the functionality answer an actual need for cyclists, but it genuinely looks good while doing it. Why? Because it looks like a jean jacket and not a piece of technology.

Credit : Levis

London-based The Unseen is one of few examples on this list that has launched to market. Founded by Lauren Bowker, who refers to herself as a material alchemist, this is a start-up that has captured the simple idea of colors that alter based on user interaction or the environment they’re placed in.

Credits:Lauren Bowker

The resulting line of luxury accessories for Selfridges in late 2015 included a backpack, scarf, phone case and more, which responded to things like air pressure, body temperature, touch, wind, and sunlight. An Italian alligator-skin shoulder bag for instance saw environmentally responsive ink shifting from black in the winter, to red in the spring, blue in the summer and green fading to red in the autumn.

Where nowadays fashion can be considered from a trash bag sold for over $2,000, it is relieving to explore more and more of these pioneers in our textile industry. It gives us a lot to think about new ways to approach product development, its usage and end goal for the consumer.

At the end of the day fashion will always be fashion. Logos will continue generating billions of dollars, however where is the innovation and most importantly the solution to our present crossroads?

Renata Grilo

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