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
Life and Style
healthMeet the volunteer users helping to see if the banned drug can help cure depression and addiction
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Life and Style
tech
News
i100
News
Foo Fighters lead man Dave Grohl talks about the band's forthcoming HBO documentary series
people
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Direct Mail Machine Operative

    £13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an i...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Accounts Executive

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for the ...

    Recruitment Genius: Team Administrator / Secretary - South East

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time Administrator/Secreta...

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Advisor

    £16500 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading Mercedes-Ben...

    Day In a Page

    Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

    Health fears over school cancer jab

    Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
    Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

    Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

    Weather warning

    Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
    LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

    High hopes for LSD

    Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
    Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

    Why the cost of parenting has become so expensive

    Today's pre-school child costs £35,000, according to Aviva. And that's but the tip of an iceberg, says DJ Taylor
    Fifa corruption: The officials are caught in the web of US legal imperialism - where double standards don't get in the way

    Caught in the web of legal imperialism

    The Fifa officials ensnared by America's extraterritorial authority are only the latest examples of this fearsome power, says Rupert Cornwell
    Bruce Robinson: Creator of Withnail and I on his new book about Jack the Ripper

    'Jack the Ripper has accrued a heroic aura. But I'm going after the bastard'

    The deaths of London prostitutes are commonly pinned on a toff in a top hat. But Bruce Robinson, creator of Withnail and I, has a new theory about the killer's identity
    Fifa presidential election: What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    What is the best way to see off Sepp Blatter and end this farce?
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards