iStyle: The future of fashion

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

From dresses that display digital messages to 3D-printed clothes, technology is set to revolutionise our wardrobes, says Stephanie Hirschmiller

How great would it be if someone invented a dress which doubled up as a mobile phone? Turns out they have already. The wearable-technology label CuteCircuit designed a prototype back in 2005. More recent creations include the LED dress donned by Katy Perry on American Idol last year and the Twitter dress Nicole Scherzinger wore to the launch of EE in Battersea Power Station in November. Fans could literally tweet the dress, which displayed their messages in real time.

The design house’s co-founder Francesca Rosella was one of the speakers at a workshop on wearable technology last week at a girls’ school in London and where the school’s Year 9s (and yours truly) got down to the serious business of designing some flashing LED T-shirts and programming pairs of sunglasses.

The event, run by Little Miss Geek (LMG; littlemissgeek.com), a social-enterprise arm of Lady Geek, a campaigning agency making technology accessible and appealing to women, also featured talks by LMG’s chief executive, Belinda Parmar, and Clara Mercer, the marketing director of the British Fashion Council (BFC), and sponsorship from tech giants Microsoft and Dell.

The BFC has a partnership with  Vodafone which sponsors designers to work creatively with its technology. Last year, it was Richard Nicoll, who unveiled a bag with a built-in charger for a mobile device. Most excited about innovations in 3D printing, Mercer is confident it will crop up in a Marc by Marc Jacobs accessories collection in the not-too-distant future.

Francesca Rosella started out designing for Valentino, but when ideas for GPS handbags were not met with enthusiasm, she launched her own firm. In 2010, her “Galaxy” dress (created from 24,000 micro LEDs) was displayed at Chicago’s MSI museum, caught Katy Perry’s attention, and the rest is history. A SIM card slotted into the tag on her prototype mobile-phone dress and a microphone and speaker in the cuff mean you just lift your hand to ear to answer. (It’s also washable!)

But back to that circuit board. With a little help from the LMG team, my LED was soon flashing with the best of them.

It is testament to the power of fashion that Google chose the US designer Diane von Furstenberg’s New York show last year to premiere its Google Glass augmented-technology specs. According to Parmar, fashion and technology “have collided and fashion is driving how we integrate technology into our clothes”.

Parmar is also hugely excited about innovations in 3D printing – not least the first dress to be produced on a 3D printer unveiled this year by Dita Von Teese – but she is more interested in wearable technology taking on a pivotal role in our lives. Current favourite invention is the programmable GPS shoe created by Dominic Wilcox: “They have an antenna which tells you which direction to go via flashing LED lights – just like Dorothy clicking her heels in The Wizard of Oz!”

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Systems and Network Support Analyst

    £26000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Systems Support Analyst

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a rapidly expandi...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker / Trainee Broker / Closer - OTE £250,000

    £30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Stock Broker/ Trainee FX, Stoc...

    Day In a Page

    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent
    Markus Persson: If being that rich is so bad, why not just give it all away?

    That's a bit rich

    The billionaire inventor of computer game Minecraft says he is bored, lonely and isolated by his vast wealth. If it’s that bad, says Simon Kelner, why not just give it all away?
    Euro 2016: Chris Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Coleman on course to end half a century of hurt for Wales

    Wales last qualified for major tournament in 1958 but after several near misses the current crop can book place at Euro 2016 and end all the indifference
    Rugby World Cup 2015: The tournament's forgotten XV

    Forgotten XV of the rugby World Cup

    Now the squads are out, Chris Hewett picks a side of stars who missed the cut
    A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

    Britain's Atlantis

    Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

    The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

    David Starkey's assessment
    Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

    'An enormous privilege and adventure'

    Oliver Sacks writing about his life
    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

    The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
    Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

    Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

    Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests