Techno Fashion

Techno Fashion

Techno Fashion

Techno Fashion

Synopsis

From digital-display dresses to remote control couture, this book exposes the revolutionary interface between contemporary fashion and technology. As twenty-first century fashion makes a dramatic departure from traditional methods, designers no longer turn to the past for inspiration, but look to the hi-tech future. The result is techno fashion, the new wave of intelligent clothing that fuses fashion with communication technology, electronic textiles, and sophisticated design innovations that express new ideas about appearance, construction and wearability. Born out of the collaboration between fashion designers, researchers and scientists, this new dialogue could be the most significant design innovation in fashion's history, or indicate its eventual demise. Either way, techno fashion promises to forever disrupt the historical narrative of fashion evolution.Through interviews with designers ranging from innovators such as Hussein Chalayan and Tristan Webber to mavericks like Alexander McQueen, Bradley Quinn examines the impact of this new direction. The fusion of design and technology introduced by Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Issey Miyake has created another direction for clothing, creating a new breed of designer-cum-scientist who redefines the way we dress, communicate, and even respond to environmental changes. As technology begins to shape fashion's future, it redefines the boundaries between clothing, body and machine, forever transforming the ethics and lifestyles traditionally designated by codes of dress.

Excerpt

From digital dresses to remote-control couture, Techno Fashion exposes the revolutionary interface between contemporary fashion and technology. Wearable cameras, wireless communicators, metallic nodules and electronic embroidery may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but these devices are real enough to revolutionize the meaning and function of fashion forever. Right now, teams of chemists, physicists, fashion designers and engineers are busy creating the high-tech future of fashion. Tomorrow's garments will do more than just look good and feel great: they will have an intelligence of their own. You will know, because they will tell you.

These visionary designs are known collectively as ‘techno fashion’; their technical abilities are made possible by wireless electronic devices fully integrated into fabrics and accessories. As personal electronic devices became adapted for wear as jewellery or accessories, the scope to integrate them into fabric became apparent. Mobile phones, personal stereos, laptops, digital organizers and music players are being fully integrated into items of clothing to form part of a wearable ‘body area network’ that can also surf the Web, monitor vital signs and even administer medication through the wearer's skin. These systems are activated by sensors that respond to voice-recognition software and body movement, and are programmed to detect and respond to other networks in the home, office or urban environments.

The potential of techno fashions may have profound implications for our experiences of body and mind, our communication abilities, health care and lifestyle. One of the obvious questions triggered by this new genre is why science tuned in to the aesthetics and sensibilities of fashion in the first place. Fashion, as an essential component of everyday life, provides the ideal means for information technologies to be constantly accessible and widely relied upon as they become indistinguishable from clothing. Fashion also allows technologies to engage with the human body in a comfortable and aestheticized form. Each new generation of technology will have multiple opportunities to market itself as the ephemeral trends of fashion bring it to the consumer with each new look.

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