One of the differences between technology and fashion is the way inspiration for new designs are gathered. Technologists get inspired by looking in the distant future of Starwars while fashion designer draw a great deal of inspiration from the past. This is strictly generic speaking and I am not saying fashion designer are working on yesterday.
As we combine both worlds into wearable technology each side has to give in a bit. Following the fashion designer side in this article I like to direct your attention to a wearable electronic project which I think provides a source of inspiration and insights on which present and future eTextile designer can build upon – technologists as well as fashion designer.
In 2005 Joanna Berzowska, a pioneer in wearable electronics, created the Intimate Memory clothing consisting of a Skirt that records physical interaction such as touch events and gradually changing color to show how often it has come into contact with other people or objects.
The skirt will show the touch memories at the end of the day in from of color changing patterns, depending on how often a touch occurred.
Her second piece in this project is the Intimate Memory Shirt which has a microphone in the collar and a series of light points at the front of the shirt. When a friend or partner whispers something into the ear, the microphone will record this event and the lights will light up, showing that an intimate event has occurred.
The number of lights indicates the intensity of the intimacy. Over time, the lights turn off, one by one, to show how long it has been since the intimate event took place.
These examples demonstrate how the use of different inputs from our environment can be combined with fashion to interact, to transform it’s appearance but also the possibility to interweave our behavior, our social interaction into our clothing and use this to shape and form our outfit dynamically.