E X T R A ORDINARY FASHION
&FA S H I O N Technology has already seeped and merged with the world of Fashion through platforms such as Trend Forecasting, Marketing and Retail. Trend forecasting or customer research can now be done using social media sites such as TUMBLR, which simplifies a surveyor’s job of figuring out the taste of the masses. It can act as an online mood-board and inspire a designer’s next collection. Fashion Retail has been considerably affected by technology with the introduction of online shopping. Nearly all brands now have an online presence
to help with promotion plus the majority also providing e-commerce. The presence of technology in fashion has for a while been business based. here the effects of technology have, to date, been largely negative. Online retailers are nibbling away at the High Street and shops are beginning to shut down but it is now moving to aid the creative and logistic aspects of design. As seen in Science Fiction movies such as Starship Enterprises the vision of what we’d be wearing in the future verged on the ridiculous. There have been a few designers (Not naming any names) in recent years
that have attempted to cater to this ‘supposed’ gap in the market with creating wacky designs. From LED necklaces, wearable music players to clothes hidden with sensors, it has all been a bit unrealistic. Designers such as Anouk Wipprecht, Iris Van Herpen and Lucy McRae have all labelled their technological infused designs as Haute Couture, which in Fashion jargon means ‘not wearable for everyday’. There are however designers who are collaborating with Technology on a much more sensible level.
Promising newcomer to the Fash-Tech world… Lucy McRae is an Australian artist, designer and compulsive inquisitor. Over time, she has fused her training as a classical ballerina with an inherent fascination with the body, and forged a unique profession: Body Architect. McRae, based in Amsterdam (which quickly becoming the Mecca of Fash-Tech creativity), takes the human body as her canvas. Each project inhabits an artistic realm that straddles the worlds of sculpture, architecture, science, and fashion design, manipulating the body’s natural structure to invent novel anatomical forms.
“I became obsessed with this idea of blurring the perimeter of the body, so you couldn’t see where the skin ended and the near environment started.” This obsession is perfectly showcased in her collection “Grow on you” Despite it looking like you’ve gotten out the shower too early, the piece is making a statement.
e a R c M ucy
Her works are mesmerising – living subjects coated, injected and bathed with otherworldly embellishments to create new bodies of exquisite imperfection. They are imbued with a haunting visceral realism that has become her creative insignia. To me, Lucy’s ideas are intriguing and quirky in a fun way. It’s awesome to see somebody take action for his/her idea and work hard on it bravely and enthusiastically. She is a TED fellow and has worked with Nick Knight, Aesop, Johan Renck, Robyn, Bart Hess, American Vogue and AnOther Magazine. She has exhibited at Centre Pompidou, Palais de Tokyo and has run master classes at RMIT. She is slowly making her way into the blinding spotlight and we’ll sure be hearing more about this young upstart. The future of fashion is bright, weird and intriguing and we love it. It’s all about Tech-Style.
â€œDecoded Fashion brings the best Tech ideas to Fashion + Retail leaders around the worldâ€? The presence of Technology in Fashion is becoming so undeniable that there is now an annual convention dedicated its discussion.
Media professionals. They act as an intelligence source for technologies that can revolutionize fashion and retail.
Decoded Fashion creates events and curated discussions that accelerate innovation at the intersection of fashion and retail. They aim to connect leaders in Fashion & Retail with the best new technology emerging from new startups and established companies from around the world. Their goal is to foster creative partnerships between Startups, Fashion Designers, Retailers and
Decoded Fashion has been legitimised as an event by both its sponsor the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and the calibre of the events speakers. The 2013 speakers will include designer Zac Posen, Super Model Coco Rocha and the team behind Style.com. The quality of the speakers proves that the discussion concerning Technology in Fashion is a very important one.
Fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht is moving up in the world of fashionable technology. After working in the fashion industry since the age of 14 (what were you doing at that age?) Anouk focused her interest in exploring the extent to which we can experience fashion on an intellectual, sensual and emotional level. To Anouk fashion went beyond its purpose of keeping you dry and warm. She thought it could help us achieve a higher state of not only physical but also a psychological connection between our body and our clothing. Anouk was brave in her approach to technology she saw it as a playground, one that if you dove deeper into and experimented with, could reward you with endless possibilities. She was brave enough to tap into a source of creativity and it has in turn helped her pioneer this new sub genre of fashion. Most fashion designers tend to think deeply and complexly about their designs but when it comes to knowledge outside their comfort zone they are afraid. Art is ever evolving and depends on the artists open mind to achieve evolution. Anouk has been deeply inspired by her home country. The people of Netherlands have always been known to be progressive in their attitude to alternative living and thinking. The Netherlandsâ€™s broadminded state has helped Anouk understand how to collaborate Fashion with Technology. She used platforms like Mediamatic and V2_Labs to help her build small circuits and learn about microcontrollers.
Anouk explores her interest in experiencing fashion on a sensual level through apiece called Intimacy. INTIMACY is a high-tech fashion project exploring the relation between intimacy and technology. The pieces called ‘Intimacy White’ and ‘Intimacy Black’ are made out of opaque smart e-foils that become increasingly transparent based on close and personal encounters with people. Intimacy Black is Wipprecht’s developed version of Intimacy White made by fashion designer Maartje Dijstra. This upgraded e-foil transforms from black to transparent. Anouk’s design enables the wearer to engage in a wholly ‘super-natural’ experience with her own skin. The idea of this feature allows the wearer to feel connected and exposed to her environment. Choose carefully whom you wear it around because things could get awkward. Could this be the future of ‘Date Night chic’? Only if the date is indoors. Or is this a prediction of a futuristic gown which any stylish woman living in the 22nd century would want to wear to her party.
â€œPersonally I think a lot of designers are kind of afraid of the complexity that technology can bring.â€? Anouk Wipprecht
Anouk Wipprecht’s use of technology during her design process is always fascinating; she often allows her choice of technology to act as a “co-creator” by leaving aspects of the design to be determined by a mechanism. An example of this ‘co-creation’ is a design piece called ‘Pseudomorph’. Pseudomorph means to ‘false form’. Anouk has designed systems that allow the design to recreate itself. The shoulder piece contains valves that pump ink around the design, which is then absorbed into the white-felt. The color white acts as a blank canvas and signifies the purity and bland nature of her design before the color bleeds into the fabric in spontaneous directions creating a unique design each time. It is the valves that inject vibrancy and a unique quality to the garment therefore demonstrating that without the use of technology her design would have been incomplete and simple. It is the use of technology that takes the design to another level and makes it a showstopper. The valves can be injected with any color the wearer pleases making the garment custom and versatile in its ability to keep up with color trends and the mood of the wearer. Whether it be a light pastel hue or a vivid luminous shade, anything is possible with the Anouk design acting as a canvas.
ROBOTIC COUTURE Don’t come too close.
The sinister ‘Spider’ dress This garment deals with themes of “personal space” and raises questions concerning control and privacy. Seen on the wearer’s shoulders are robotic limbs that move and roam around the body in an animated fashion. How creepy? This dress would definitely be a conversation starter and could ironically evoke curiosity and communication despite its defensive features. I would wear this while shopping at sales or at work so my colleagues would know not to approach. A true symbol that a person needs space!
ALEXANDER McQUEEN A discussion, about designers who have embraced technologyâ€™s role in fashion, would not be complete without a special mention of the late Alexander McQueen. McQueen was a British fashion designer and couturier best known for his in-depth knowledge of bespoke British tailoring, his tendency to juxtapose strength with fragility in his collections, as well as the emotional power and raw energy of his provocative fashion shows. He was always a creative alternative thinker so his use of technology is not surprising. McQueen acknowledged the value of technology as far back as 2006.
His shows were always ahead of their time; it was like a full-on production, McQueen made people think that itâ€™s not just the hair and make-up. He was making something for people to witness and remember. He also experimented with streaming his catwalk shows live on the Internet. Earlier shows featured a volcanic catwalk that erupted in flames, and a giant Plexiglass snowstorm. McQueen used new technology and innovation to add a twist to proceedings. Towards the end of his life we saw the McQueen experiment with futuristic styles in his choice of fabric. Debuted during Paris Fashion Week, the Alexander McQueen AW10 collection is, as the show stated, as unique as he was. Inspired by Byzantine art and Old Master paintings, McQueen imbued both the past and the future into his designs. In his last creation he mimicked reptilian eco-evolutionary creatures skin. He mimicked fish scales or reptile scales to make up futuristic forms, he infused metallic fabrics, plating and detailing. The exaggerated silhouettes made the garments striking and the cocoon shapes added to its uniqueness.
In 2006 he projected a holographic 3D image of model Kate Moss on to the runway, the last time we saw that done was at 2012 Coachella Festival with the memorable Tupac hologram.
I R I S G A G A ’ S
V A N
H E R P E N
D E S I G N
M O N S T E R
At the launch of her FAME perfume in NYC Lady Gaga once again turned to Iris Van Herpen, this time for a custom design. Van Herpen’s syle motif fits the personality of the elaborate singer. She embodies the idea that fashion can transform the body into a piece of art. On the launch of her perfume Gaga was just that, a piece of art. The style of the dress mimicked Gaga’s Perfume bottle The Van Herpen creation created a media storm and made it into every newspaper/magazine in the world the next day. It was a great platform for the designer but it must be said that she helped Gaga make a statement in a way that no other designer could. The perfume went on to become the 8th best selling perfuming of all time, I think we know whom to thank… Van Herpen isn’t only a hit among the stars of today she is also a critically acclaimed designer who is leaving her peers in awe of her talent. She has been proclaimed the next Alexander McQueen. With ‘Capriole’, her Fall/ Winter 2011-12 collection, it’s easy to
see why. Revealed a her hyper-exclusive Paris Couture Show the Dutch fashion designer’s line packed the runway with so many showstoppers — from a tube dress that looked like it was frozen in ice to a frightening mini-dress crawling with slithery, Medusian coils. As one blogger put it: “Ladies and gentlemen, I think we just found our next fashion legend. H.O. L.Y. SHIT.”
COLLECTION Iris Van Herpen is a Dutch haute couturier known for her ostentatious three- dimensional designs she has carved out a niche in the fashion market by remaining eclectic and innovative. Van Herpen’s interest in experimenting with technology and techniques has made her a trailblazer and a target for media attention. She is intriguing many of her peers and those outside of the fashion industry also. Her latest admirer is fashion tastemaker Lady Gaga who has been seen wearing multiple Van Herpen designs.
Gaga dramatically showcased a beige leather dress from the 2011 Van Herpen collection; ‘Capriole’ and combined the dress with shoes from van Herpen, [in collaboration with United Nude]. Gaga added a veil to it herself for added theatre. With the use of Lazer-cut gold plexi glass Van Herpen adds a Gaga approved element of glam to the hems of the ruffles. The exaggerated ruffles create an intriguing silhouette that makes it hard for us to stop staring and discovering new elements and depths to the garment- perfect for the Bad Romance singer.
VOLTAGE HAUTE COUTURE
Her latest collection Voltage Haute Couture is further proof of this designer’s genius. She has explored the effect of electricity on the body and in turn fashion. For her fourth collection, presented in Paris, Iris van Herpen experimented with electricity’s’ use in the field of creation. This collection seeks to portray its tangible movement and power. This ability of light and electricity to change states and bodies is reproduced using the most innovative technologies. Van Herpen shares Canadian architect Philip Beesley’s fascination with materials and structures. They focus specifically on how the reaction of chemistry and electricity causes structures to respond to
their environment and react as living beings. Iris van Herpen is also know for being todays leading fashion designer in the use of 3d printing. Drawing on the idea of movement, the flexible 3D printed dresses are a revolution, a result of collaborations with Neri Oxman of the MIT Media Lab as well as Keren Oxman and Prof. Craig Carter of MIT.
The waxed black feather are used to mimic the affect of hair when it comes in contact with static. Beneath the feathers is a seemingly gorgeous figure-hugging gown with three quarter length sleeves. It is in trademark Van Herpen fashion to take a wearable gown and remix it with the help of technology.
This stunning piece has an exaggerated tulip shape with a mini cape bolero. The fabric of this piece is made up of dozens of light-bulbs. Van Herpen use alternating sizes to create dimension and colour depths to add to the uniqueness of the garment.
Van Herpen is truly a visionary who will go onto to shape the fashion world with her sidekick Technology. She will try to evolve with technology and try to race ahead of it. She is truly a young spark (pun intended).
I am a Graphic Design New Media Student, hoping to graduate and enter the world of fashion. I want to be able to bring to fashion the elements that some of the designers in this zine do.They are all very interesting upcoming designers with the passion to bring in the aspect of technology into the fashion world. Working on this zine with a fashion focused individual has given me further insight into the ways other people look at fashion and the way in which my collaborator gains her knowledge and interests in current trends. Technology is forever developing and I want to be a part of the next bif thing in fashion. Diwanisha Ramakrishnan â€œCreative Directorâ€?
My name is Halimo Geesey and with such a unique name I knew I had to do something memorable with my life just so people would be familiarised with my name and I wouldn’t have to use the abbreviated ‘Hali’ anymore. Luckily my love for Fashion came naturally and I have been working towards launching a fashion line for many years now. I’m specifically interested in Womenswear and my style is feminine, modern and glamorous. I have interned with Vivienne Westwood for two years and spent one year working on as part of the design team for the RED LABEL. I’ve learnt a lot working with the Westwood brand and I know I’ve taken away many lessons that will help me along my journey to becoming a Womenswear designer. This project has proven to me that collaboration can aid creativity and I’m sure Diwani and I will collaborate many more times in the future. Halimo Geesey “Creative Writer”