While we may be far from downloading our favorite outfits straight into our closets, there’s no doubt that the relationship between fashion and technology (aka fashion tech) have merged at an accelerated pace over the last few years. Infusing technology into fashion pushes the boundaries of traditional forms of producing garments and allows designers to explore their creativity. From futuristic dressing rooms to digitally enhanced garments that can charge your devices, computers that were once beating human players at chess and solitaire are now capable of creating out of this world experiences and interactive clothing pieces.
So what does the world of Fashion look like in the digital age? Here are some of the trends that are shaping the fashion industry.
Smart Textiles and Wearable Technology
Fashion designers are no longer satisfied with the current state of wearable technology limited to wristbands and watches. Now, more and more brands are working to integrate sensors and software into stylish clothing. Merging fashion and technology isn’t exactly a new phenomenon but smart fabric is opening up new possibilities for both retailers and consumers.
Dr. Amy Winters, founder of material-technology studio Rainbow Winters, created wearables that cleanse the environment, harness clean energy and interact with external influences such as light sound, speed and moisture. Her Rainbow Winters clothing line features 10 wearable technology projects in the works that seamlessly integrates technology into aesthetically enchanting outfits.
Virtual Fitting Rooms
VR Fittings rooms typically cut the whole tedious process of dressing and undressing in brick and mortar stores. The augmented-reality enables shoppers to virtually try on clothes before taking their final selection to the dressing room – an innovative retail and marketing solution for fashion retailers.
So how does it work exactly? An electronic mirror is combined with an extra-large smart pad, incorporating infrared and RGB cameras. The system then virtually recreates the shopper’s body and skeleton based on the analysis of the height, weight, and feature points and show the 3D garment fitting simulation in real-time.
Virtual Reality Fashion Shows: A Technological Extravaganza
Designers have played around with VR and 360-degree cameras in their campaigns and runway shows over the recent years, allowing enthralled fashion lovers to enjoy the front row experience.
“With VR, we can create experiences that let anyone feel like they are sitting in the front row of a fashion show, or walk around and shop in a store anywhere in the world from your own couch,” Neha Singh, founder and CEO of Obsess VR says. She also added how virtual reality will elevate the fashion industry to a level that’s not possible with other digital mediums today. To that end, VR Fashion Week was launched as an answer to the demand for a more immersive fashion week experience.
A true virtual fashion week experience involves shows that can be experienced anywhere, and aren’t limited to traditional runways. They involve elements of fiction and fantasy (all fashion being fantasy, ultimately), and just as importantly, can give viewers a much closer look at fabrics and patterns, combining the best of salon and runway presentations. – Fashion Week Online
3D Printed Designs
The role of 3D printing in fashion is continually evolving and this growth in curiosity is coming from both ends of the fashion spectrum, from high end designers to low end brands. 3D printing allows these designers to expand beyond the traditional boundaries of textile production methods towards a 3-dimensional evolution. Designers can create a specific textile that is waterproof, opaque, flexible or rigid and then combine all these elements together into a one-of-a-kind garment. What better platform to flaunt bold looks using this cutting edge digital technology than Haute Couture?
Innovative Dutch Designer, Iris Van Herpen, is known for her futuristic designs that incorporates 3D printing technologies that placed her in the vanguard of the technology’s introduction into fashion. From biomorphic elements and feathery metal lace fabrics, to using robots to print a dress at a runway show, her utterly unique creations are works of art in themselves.
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