Wearable technology: 11 quirky garments from the future
If you ever want to make a memorable entrance, look no further than CuteCircuit, the London-based designers of a dress that can flash LED patterns and Tweets in real time (you might remember seeing their designs on Katy Perry and Nicole Scherzinger). We saw one of their animated dresses for ourselves a couple of weeks ago when creative director Francesca Rosella and chief executive officer Ryan Getz swung by Singapore to promote their Pink&Black collection, which was created in conjunction with Magnum’s new flavours for summer 2013: Magnum Pink and Magnum Black. And while the concept of a “Twitter dress” might sound weird on paper, we can assure you that playing with the effects is downright addictive in real life.
In an interview with xinmsn, Ryan and Francesca demonstrated how you could use a mobile app to make an array of animated designs, including waterfall patterns, 3-D rain, stars, and even Tweets, appear on the dress.
“The dress reflects the dark and bright sides of people’s personalities,” Francesca said, while showing us how to switch between pink patterns and blue ones.
While this certainly isn’t the first time CuteCircuit has created an LED dress, Francesca and Ryan approached their creation – which was worn by local personality Jaymee Ong at the opening of the Magnum Singapore Pleasure Store – as a creation designed uniquely for her personality and body shape. First, they sketched and designed the garment for Jaymee. Once Jaymee green-lighted it, Francesca and Ryan built the “structure” of the dress – the corset, the dress, the material. Then came the exciting part: the electronic patterns, all of which were created for this specific garment.
“It was sort of a parallel process, but we knew exactly where the LEDs were going to be placed in the fabric,” Francesca said. “That way, we built the fabric with the LEDs. It doesn’t look like we just dropped LEDs onto it. It’s a seamless process.”
The process took two months. Indeed, when the LEDs are switched off, the Pink&Black dress looks like your average LBD. There are no wires or Christmas lights in sight, as the fabric was specially engineered to conduct the current powering the LEDs. It can even be laundered and recharged via USB.