A Fresh Take on Diversity in Fashion - #techstyle - Part I

April 24, 2016

The Spike - artificial leg (2015) by Viktoria Modesta

#techstyle featuring the Airplane Dress - get ready for takeoff...

Main exhibition floor 1

Fashion and technology have always been linked. From the Singer sewing machine (patented in Boston in 1851) or the inventions of synthetic dyes and manmade fibers like nylon and polyster. These have slowly shaped the way we live everyday, and yet we don't stop and think twice about it.

Fashion is something that has been so ingrained within our lives that it has become invisible. Because of this veil, we have stopped paying attention to the effects of perceptions, judgments, and the quest for conformity born in the deepest, darkest places of slave labor and poor intent.

Exhibitions such as #techstyle surfaces manufacturing, prosthetic innovation, and take a giant leap forward in this bold, new arena of the things covering our body, and really, invisibly shaping our lives.

Forget what you know about disability, and welcome in a new era of superheros. A place where losing a limb becomes an amazing opportunity to reinvent yourself as something that has evolved past normal human constraints. Here is one woman that is shaping the way society perceives amputation as not loss, but something precious and a symbol of self empowerment. 

Here is the video she put on display. I highly recommend it, completely beautiful and groundbreaking.

I'm not going to talk about every dress or tech piece here, because everything really deserves it's own spotlight article. Here is a quick peek preview at some of my favorites.

Crystallisation Water Dress by Iris van Herpen
I often wonder if we will keep wearing fabrics in the future, or if dressing will become something non-material, something that is visible, but not tangible or touchable." - Iris van Herpen

Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen has created a dress modelled from splashing water, and is rethinking materials altogether.

3d printed kinematics Petal Dress by Nervous System (2016)
"Petals" protrude from the underlying framework of tessellated triangular panels, sheathing the body in a directional landscape of overlapping plumes. Each interlocking component of the dress is rigid, but, in aggregate, they behave as a continuous textile. The dress is 3D-printed in durable nylon plastic by Selective Laser Sintering. While the design is composed of more than 1600 unique pieces interconnected by more than 2600 hinges, it emerges from the 3D printer fully assembled and ready to wear. Seriously.

Dress is completely customizable, using a design interface on the company's website: n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com

Ensemble by Noa Raviv (2014)
Israeli fashion designer Noa Raviv has integrated 3D-printed elements into ruffled garments influenced by distorted digital drawings.

On a model

Laser cutting works by focusing a laser beam on a material which the beam melts, burns, or vaporizes away, leaving a finished edge. Though typically employed in industrial manufacturing applications, the process has begun to have an impact on fashion over the past 10 years. Here are a couple of examples from the exhibition. 

Bodice (2013) by Manish Arora
This is #33 from his 2013 collection, inspired by both traditional clothing and modern technology, this sophisticated laser cutting created the exquisite scale-like layers and fanciful flourishes in his signature pink palette. <3

Metallic Leather Fringe Dress (2012) by Giles Deacon

London-based designer Giles Deacon is known for cerebral fashions incorporating cutting-edge technology. Here he creates a Swarovski crystal-encrusted dress with the appearance of hard metal. In reality, it is made of soft leather coated with silver pigment and laster-cut to form an intricate lace underskirt and collar with trailing fringe.

I don't want to take away any of the impact from these amazing pieces, so I will continue the article in part II. Please let me know your thoughts so far! Beautiful? Too different? Where is fashion tech heading with this impactful preview! Talk to me, Julia Peter.

XO Julia

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