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!”

Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
Life and Style
food + drink
Voices
John Profumo and his wife Valerie Robson in 1959
voicesWard committed no crime, and the truth is still being covered up, writes Geoffrey Robertson QC
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
news... you won't believe how bad their skills were
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright and Mark Wright
tvStrictly goes head-to-head with Apprentice
Sport
footballPremier League preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's clashes
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: Finance Director

    £65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

    Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

    Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

    £50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

    The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

    £27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas