IBM and 360Fashion Show in San Francisco - This is Fashion, That is Technology.

November 22, 2015

Recently, I attended an awards show from 360Fashion Network and IBM. The show was aimed at bringing together the two worlds of fashion and technology.

The event was held the Metreon in downtown San Francisco and had many fun fashion-tech related projects on display. The event was an exclusive invite-only and they gave away a lot of goodies like elderflower prosecco and tapas served in miniature take-out boxes. 

Featured Design: LED Earrings and neoprene dress


Among the items featured within the showcase was my personal favorite, a model of the Nixie, a wearable drone.


After munching on tapas and sipping bubbly drinks, the runway show began, which I found pleasantly theatrical. The CEO of the 360Fashion Network and the General Manager of IBM, Sandy Carter kicked off the event with a great deal of enthusiasm.

Anina Net, CEO of the Fashion Tech Network (left)

Sandy Carter, General Manager or IBM
At the start of the show were some beautiful pieces showcased under a faint blue light, which in itself was an odd choice of lighting because it was difficult to see much of anything at all.

LED accessories

Symbolic 'cloud' clutch and laser cut fabric
LED Earrings and neoprene dress

 Creative reflective fabric and textures.


3D-printed tiara and embellishment experiments.


As the show continued, the disconnect between fashion and technology actually seemed to grow, until the gap left me feeling a little confused.

Microsoft Kinect
A few pieces of 'tech' were brought out, among them a Window's Kinect, which was then used to sort of scan the models as they reached the end of the catwalk wearing pieces of lingerie.

An odd way to use Microsoft Kinect by using it to scan the models up and down

Finally, a Fashionably Functional Device... Meet Ringly - the Prettiest Wearable Yet.

November 2, 2015

Here is a hint...


Before getting into all that, I just want to say that the best part about late fall in San Francisco, is that it feels like summer. Finally a chance to dress up with just an extra touch of femininity in skirts, hats and structured tees.



This is what I wore on my way to get some of the best ice cream in the city. Nestled in Hayes Valley is a tiny shop called Smitten - where the ice cream is made to order using liquid nitrogen. The vapor coming out you see in this photo is from a scoop of vanilla being made right before your eyes. You can't get much fresher than that.



You know what just doesn't go with this outfit? A thick, dark ugly wrist band constantly tracking how many calories I can burn on the way to get ice cream. (And honestly, when it comes to ice cream - who wants a constant reminder about calories?)

As you can see, I didn't even feel like lugging around a purse, so the only place for my phone to go was buried into one of the deep inner pockets of this pink coat. So how is a girl to know if there is an important message coming in or snapchat that requires an immediate response? What if someone likes my smitten ice cream instagrams? How will I know without checking my phone every 10 seconds?

Well meet Ringly - a wearable device cleverly disguised as a cocktail ring.

Just received a Snapchat
Ringly works using a bluetooth connection to your phone. The best part is the accompanying app that lets you set up the type of notifications you can receive. You can choose between a few colors that light up a little LED on the side. Yellow, pink, blue, green...etc and there is also a series of tiny haptic vibrations that you can adjust and personalize as well. (continued)


The Award for the Best Running Watch (and Overall Wearable Device of the Summer) Goes to...Garmin.

October 16, 2015

I love to run. And yes, for those of you with perplexed looks on your faces right now, yes - I actually look forward to sprinting until I run out of breath and have sweat pouring down my face and into my eyes. Running is an escape, a time to dream up new ideas, to listen to my favorite music or podcasts, and to be outside - rain or shine.

As my mind wanders though, I have a tendency to slow down to a cool, 11:00 minute pace. Not ideal for making any sort of fitness progression. 

I've been searching for the perfect device to keep me on track, something that can take care of my speed motivation so that I can still drift away mentally. 

Meet Garmin's Forerunner 220.


After a summer of renting, buying/returning and testing out different activity trackers I found this to be the best device by far. Even though the display is large, this is actually one of the smallest devices available. It is also the most lightweight, with an easy-to-read display and SUPER long battery life and haptic feedback to keep you on track.

What makes Garmin the best, is that they have their own satellites, capable of near-immediate pace tracking feedback. And yes, while you could use a phone app for this same purpose, nothing even comes close to this type of accuracy.



For those of you who aren't especially tech-savy - this watch is "stupid-simple" to use with only a few large buttons on the side that are clearly marked. You basically just press and go. 

It also offers bluetooth connectivity for sharing your progress with friends and is waterproof enough to withstand a long hot shower afterwards.

And the best part, is that after collecting all of your running data (speed, distance, pace, heart rate, etc.) - Garmin does more than just feed it back to you, they collect it into a database in order to view your progress over time, predicting how you will perform during your next real race.


To be completely honest, even though I loved this watch since it's launch a few months ago - I was reluctant to purchase it. The only colors available were a very masculine red and black design. :P

However, during a recent visit to a local running store, not only did I find it on a huge sale - I found it in purple! Which is quite possibly the reason it was marked down as pointed out by a friend.. nonetheless I prefer this color AND it matches my running shoes. Bonus. 


To all my motivation-seekers: meet your new running watch.


XO Julia

Thanks for reading! All photos taken by blogger and photographer, Maddy Douglass whom I'd highly recommend for all of your lifestyle blogging needs. 
Find my live updates on Instagram and TwitterThese opinions are all my own and may contain affiliate links. 




I've Been Busy...but I've Learned a Lot

August 31, 2015

Hello again! Yes it has been a couple of months since my last blog post. I've been heads-down into my various devices, plotting new interface interactions and dreaming up new ideas. When I'm creating anything, that is when I am the happiest..and lately I've simply forgotten to look up.


"If I don’t create, I won’t affect the world around me.            - Jon Westenberg

So yeah, here is me looking up after a summer of technical adventures, as well as adventures far-removed from the incessant humm and buzz of gadgetry.

I've learned so much and come so far, and out of everything I'd like to share one of my favorite (and lightest) bits of advice from the summer.

How to properly roll up the sleeves on an oxford shirt. 

Step 1. 
Straighten out the cuff and arm. Especially with linen, you'll want to give it a good tug.


Step 2. 


Make sure the cuff is unbuttoned at this stage
 
Step 3. 
Now flip the cuff up, folding right on the crease


Step 4.
Use the full width of the cuff post-flip to create an even fold upwards

Step 5.  
Roll up to just below the elbow and secure the button for a nice tight fit. 

You're welcome. Some people like to keep rolling into a tee-shirt but I would strongly advise against this. Sleeves just below the elbow will keep you looking classic and feeling cool to beat this late-summer heat. The most important advice now that you've got the look down, is to remember this:

Never take yourself too seriously.

I'll be back for more updates soon....

XO Julia

Thanks for reading! All photos taken by local photographer, Andrew Zhou whom I'd highly recommend for all of your photography needs. Find my live updates on Instagram and Twitter. 

Which is the Smart Watch for You? Maybe None...Yet.

June 14, 2015

Hey readers, apologies for the radio silence this past week! I’ve been busy testing out the latest and greatest in wearable design to hit the market. 


Get ready for some in-depth product reviews for the best (and worst) wearable devices for fitness, fun, and everyday life. 


I often come across wearable gadgets to test, borrow, rent, or even buy if I’m especially intrigued. In general, nothing has captured my attention for longer than about a month and often ends up in an old tote that I’ve nicknamed “the wearable graveyard”. This is where the circuits and gadgets go to retire, as I am emotionally unable to fully part with them via electronic recycling.


Every time something new hits the market, the idea that electronic accessories can help create more focus, help with fitness goals, or save time leaves me anticipating so much hope…yet leaves me with so much disappointment. 

Do you remember Wonder Woman? I was recently reminded of her super powerful accessories. Arm cuffs that could deflect bullets, and clothing that flew onto her figure with a spin. That's what I'm waiting for. A device with that special secret sauce to really enhance human strength, capability, or emotion.


Following this post I'll talk about what I like and don't like about a few favorite wearable devices I've come across, but in summary: We don’t need another version of the smartphone. Stop directing attention to what a phone app can already do. It's not always about high tech.

I'm tired of swiping, tapping, and interacting with things that take too much time to set up or understand. We have enough apps for that. Instead, make something that gives me a little superhuman capability. Its time to think beyond robotics, even beyond fashion - and start thinking about actual human beings and human needs. There’s a lot more potential there.

XO Julia

Thanks for reading! All photos taken by Roxy Chaney whom I'd highly recommend for all of your photography needs. These opinions are all my own and may contain affiliate links. 

Spotlight on the Next Big Beauty App - Dotfully -

June 2, 2015

Did you know that there’s a Reddit swapping sub-reddit with over 13,000+ users exchanging makeup everyday?  

As massive as the beauty industry has become, women everywhere are still looking for a good deal on quality products, as well as not letting unused items go to waste. Without a platform to run on, these users have created their own beauty marketplace - simply out of demand!

Wouldn't it be nice to have an easier, more secure way to exchange makeup and grow this group even more? Welcome in Dotfully.



Dotfully is striving to become the world’s first free makeup store powered by beauty lovers. Dotfully is among the first beauty destinations where women come together to buy and sell unused beauty products and perfumes from each other without using money.

Instead of using money, Dotfully members can easily sell their new beauty products or once-loved perfumes for Dotfully points.

I met with founder and CEO Mona Zhao over matcha lattes to hear about her passion for beauty and technology.

“The future of shopping is beyond retail and online stores. Consumers can empower each other by sharing their excess and guilt-free shopping can be possible with peer-to-peer marketplaces. We are living in the future, at least in the beauty space, with Dotfully and our members creating the world’s first free makeup store powered by beauty lovers.” - Mona Zhao





She explained how Dotfully points can be then used to buy products you love from other members for free. When you sign up for a free account you're automatically given 250 Dotfully Points ($25 Value).

Here are a few of Mona's favorite products:


Black is the New Black - in Theory

May 22, 2015

When ever in doubt as to what I will slip on for work in the morning, I just remember one simple rule: black goes with black.

This outfit by Theory is a play on boring black by mixing up textures, shapes, and revealing a little bit of skin in just the right places.


Rule of thumb. Always be prepared with extra layers.




 





The photographer by the way (aka Ginger & the Fizz) called this look '90's. I call it 'flirty'. Either works ;)

Have a great weekend everyone.

XO - Julia

Casual Weekend Layers

May 17, 2015

What a fun weekend! Bay to Breakers flooded the streets, and aside from observing the entertaining madness, I felt inspired to train extra hard for my half marathon race that is quickly approaching. Here is a peek at what I wore during lunches out with friends and time spent out and about.









If you're looking for some great summer staples as the weather warms up, here are some links to help inspire a layered weekend casual. These pieces are great for anything from a daytime ballgame or a long distance road-trip:

Sweater: J.Crew
Glasses: Similar
Blouse: Equipment
Jacket: Similar
Shoes: Madewell
Bag: Similar

Have a great week everyone!

-XO Julia

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